South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports

March 2006

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Marty Davis

   DATE:  April 5, 2006

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s March Monthly Status Report

You may download and print the entire March Report  in Adobe Acrobat (PDF).


2010 Initiative
Rural Tourism Development
Public Relations
Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Film Office
Information Centers
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising
World Wide Web
Winter Campaign
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Great Events 2006
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

Attended scheduled 2010 meetings in Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City. Gathered input from attendees and will consider suggestions and incorporate into Tourism’s goals and project timeline.

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Rural Tourism Development

Attended a meeting with Jacquie Fuks and Richard Muller from Southeast South Dakota Tourism to discuss their desire to have another Agri-tourism conference this fall.

Attended the Missouri River Corridor Tourism Conference on March 23. Presented information on Tourism’s marketing programs.

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Continued working with partners on See America/South Dakota Week (formerly National Tourism Week), May 13-21, 2006. Worked on details of radio ad campaign and media blitz.

Organized details of the Vacation Planning Day at the Rushmore Mall in Rapid City for April 8. Participants include Spearfish CVB, Deadwood CVB, Corn Palace CVB, Yankton CVB, Aberdeen CVB, Sioux Falls CVB, Watertown CVB, Huron Chamber and VB, Rapid City CVB, Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, and Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates. Drafted, distributed and posted press release to South Dakota News Web site and regarding the South Dakota travel planning day to be held at the Rushmore Mall.

Fulfilled media requests from KVHT, KYNT, KSOO, freelance writer Laura Powell for USA Today, Alan VanOrmer for Prairie Business Magazine, Caroline Lalley of the Sioux Falls Business Journal. Responded to TIA media inquiry for family friendly summer events, suggested Rushmore Fireworks. Followed up with writers and media from the Chicago media blitz.

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Researched photos for cover and opening pages of Group Tour Planning Guide. Continued working on design and inputting partner data.

Finalized Great News Fall Newsletter, which will be mailed in April to 8,000 group tour operators and journalists; 583 will be mailed to international media.

Attended meeting at Pierre Chamber of Commerce with Cabela’s to discuss fishing tournament in Pierre in June.

Scheduled appointments and set up teams for trade blitzes in Chicago and Minneapolis by taking the top ten accounts from each of our participating partners, Sioux Falls CVB, Rapid City CVB, Deadwood CVB, and Black Hills Badlands and Lakes. Divided appointments among the teams.

Mailed leads from NAJ Summit, tour operator show, to 582 South Dakota suppliers.

Made preparations for 2006 Group Tour Expo in Minnesota in April; part of 2Nations Tour program.

Prepared for ITB and French Mission. Along with the other three Rocky Mountain International (RMI) partner states, we hosted two training seminars at Voyageurs Du Monde for 10 people, training at Jet Tours for 19 people, and hosted VIP dinner for tour operators and journalists. E-mailed 60 tour operators and journalists requesting meetings at ITB. The RMI states met with 71 tour operators and journalists during the ITB show in Berlin.

Attended RMI Summit and Roundup. Finalized RMI Post Fam with tour suppliers, touring South Dakota, April 3-5, with departures to Europe April 6. Researched tour operators who will attend RMI Roundup (40) so that lead information can be forwarded to 10 South Dakota suppliers who will meet with the tour operators in one-on-one appointments. Sent itinerary to Canada Tours for a representative who will tour South Dakota after the post fam.

Researched and requested 40 appointments for the African American Conference. Researched tour operator companies and requested 100 appointments for the South Dakota booth at TIA Pow Wow and sent updated information to five South Dakota co-op partners.

Sent information on peak season to 871 tour operators in target markets – Tourism FYI, motorcoach leads, and What’s New.

Asked Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tribal Government Relations for contact information and sent 20 contacts to Godfrey Hall, United Kingdom journalist, per his request for an article on American Indians of today in South Dakota.

Assisted Dirk Rohrbach of Germany and a film crew with travel and locations for a music video shoot with a famous German rock star. Music video will air in that country. Locations include various sites in the Badlands and Black Hills. Worked with United Kingdom representative regarding Sturgis Rally tour and tour operator helps. Sent ranch listings to Japanese representative for distribution to tour operator, Jalpak. Made final arrangements for DERTOUR fam tour to be held for 16 staff from May 31 – June 2 in South Dakota.

Sent copies of 189 foreign press articles to the 105 South Dakota businesses that were mentioned in them. Copies of the articles were also sent to each city’s CVB/Chamber office where the hostings took place. Articles were in French, Dutch, German, and Italian.

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Finalized Outdoor Newsletter for mailing in May. It is a media packet with news release and photos mailed to 3,000 outdoors writers and editors twice a year. Stories are on fall and related activities. Story ideas and photos are also on

Finalized ad for Pheasant Fever, a publication of the Aberdeen American News.

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Continued working on adding locations photos to

Made preparations to attend Association of Film Commissions International (AFCI) trade show in April and contacted associates in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho regarding booth.

Met with Jerry Wilske of the Oscar Micheaux Film and Book Festival. Met with Carolin Linn of Linn Productions.

Assisted Original Productions with filming permits, location details and hotel accommodations during filming of “Biker Buildoff.” Worked with Duane Lammers in assisting Maxim Productions for a Nissan commercial shoot. Assisted Mark Meyers for Ping’s “Drive Across America” series of commercials. Worked with Game, Fish & Parks for one of their staff to serve as a guest judge on “Ultimate Outdoorsman Search” on ESPN.

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Sent Travelsmart to 103 AAA offices.

Fulfilled requests for materials to 72 offices in 26 states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

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Conducted phone interviews for returning applicants and one-on-one interviews at Salem, Chamberlain, and Wilmot Information Centers. Due to inclement weather, conducted phone interviews for the Tilford applicants rather than on-site. Sent regret letters to 51 applicants.

Mailed poster co-op program letter, and notified 60 partners of the locations of their posters. There is still space at Salem EB, Wasta EB, and Wilmot.

Worked on details of the travel counselor fam tour in the southeastern part of the state, April 28 – May 4. Plan to visit 12 communities in six days. Researched new uniform options, and chose a light fleece, navy vest to wear over white shirts. Worked on supply lists for each center.

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Designed a postcard for mailing in April to visitor industry database regarding the two Disney Institute hospitality training sessions: Sioux Falls CVB, May 16, and Rapid City CVB, May 24. Tourism is a sponsor. Each city will also do a mailing.

For 2006, 44 individuals/businesses received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate; six received the foil star for a second recognition; and one received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

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Total FY2006 Inquiries through 04-01-06

Mail:      17,145
Internet (e-mail):      63,319
Phone:       9,949
Total:      90,413

Total FY2005 Inquiries through 04-01-05:

Mail:       22,930
Internet (e-mail):       59,730
Phone:        10,683
Total:      93,343

For fiscal year 2006, there is an overall decrease in inquiries of 3.1 percent over FY2005. 

Calculated Web stats for for March:  

  Page Views Daily Average % Change over 2005
March (31 days) 1,271,460 41,015 20.5% increase

“Page views” represents the number of times each and every page within the web site is accessed.

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Attended a meeting in Eagle Butte with Denelle from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to discuss their tourism opportunities.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to State Publishing, Game, Fish and Parks, Dakota Outdoors magazine, Public Utilities Commission, South Dakota Municipal League, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, Pierre; Gettysburg Chamber of Commerce; Family Focus Productions, Brandon; Daughters of American Revolution, Midland; Black Hills Realtors, Robert Sharp and Associates, Rapid City; Lawrence and Schiller, Outdoor Campus, AAA, Insight Marketing Design, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sioux Falls; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; AAA Home and Away magazine, Nebraska; Epoch Films, California; Nuclear Energy Institute, DC; Gareth Stevens Publishing, Wisconsin; Log Home Living magazine, Virginia; American Missionary Fellowship, Tennessee; Family Tree magazine; The Golf Club at Devils Tower, Wyoming; Nick Jr. magazine, New York; Spring Hill Press, Texas.

Fulfilled requests for video footage: stock footage to Game, Fish and Parks for a conference video they are working on; Wild West show to Los Angeles for a tour of the states show they are producing; and stock footage to Today’s Ag in Brookings for a conference video they are producing.

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Developed Tourism fyi to coincide with peak season campaign and mailed to 3,550 visitor related businesses in Tourism’s database. Ordered additional copies for tour operator mailing. PDF file is available on
Sent magazines to Giant Step partners whose ads appeared in that particular issue.

Finalized Great Getaways Newspaper insert; first delivery insertion is 4/14/16. A total quantity of 1,487,437 will be distributed in 28 different newspapers in 5 different states (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota) and 2 different provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba).

Received 1,604 requests for the ethanol coupon, as of March 29 – an online campaign in target markets to get people to travel to South Dakota and to promote the use of ethanol. Partners include American Coalition for Ethanol and participating gas stations will redeem the coupon. The rules are online as is coupon request form. The list of retailers participating in this promotion will also be added online. There are three links to the form, so tracking was added to each link. Added a link to

March Travelsmart was received by 142,193 subscribers.

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Finishing design and revisions for the Adventure Travel Guide. Will print 15,000 guides, with delivery to Tourism in May.

Continued working on motorcycle map: photos, map portion, scenic routes, copy, partner ads, and layout. Expected delivery is in May.

Worked on a project plan and timeline for update of Fishing and Hunting Guide. Contacted Game, Fish and Parks for updated information pertinent to the guide.

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On updated Visitor Services Directory to show 4,957 entries; and 104 packages and 15 coupons are listed for 30 cities in 25 categories. There are 592 listings for the 2006 statewide calendar of events.

Worked on redesign of and completed Phase I of the relaunch. Researched flash remoting for the state’s web server, which is the required software for the pending Trip Planner section.

Created web pages for Black Hills Vacation Giveaway: rules, request form, and details of giveaway. Received 169 registrations as of March 29. Created Black Hills (Air Service Task Force – ASTF) jump page.

Posted the graphic and link from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally web page to an outside site for a Sturgis Rally giveaway.

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Worked on compiling statistics/information for various aspects of campaign.

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Updated complimentary online travel special co-op registration coupons for the Travel Monitoring System panelists. Will mail 61 thank you letters and coupons to panelists who submitted data for the peak season.

Compiled data for the 2005 fourth quarter consumer web survey report. Sent prize packages to winners from Texas and Pennsylvania. Survey results for the fourth quarter were compiled from 91 respondents and include:

66 percent had been to South Dakota before

79 percent said they are planning a trip to South Dakota in the upcoming year

80 percent said answered all of their travel questions

90 percent said they would recommend the site to another traveler

42 percent were referred to by a search engine

26 percent indicated it was their first time visiting

44 percent of the respondents are female; 51 percent are male; 5 percent declined to answer

64 percent are married

32 percent have children under 18 living at home

42 percent of the respondents are from the target states of Wisconsin (8 respondents), Iowa (6), Missouri (5), Minnesota (4), and Illinois, Manitoba, and Michigan (3).
Top out-of-target-market states include Ohio (10), and Alabama and Florida, (3).

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Governor's Tourism Advisory Board

Met at a hunting lodge near Cresbard. Received regional updates and business reports from the Board. Briefed Board on the gaming and tourism tax revenues, staffing, travel shows, tribal tourism, research, city tours, See America/South Dakota (National Tourism Week), Great Events pieces/promotions, 2010 meetings, ethanol promotion and tracking, staff goals and projects, possibility of expanding number and reach of some co-ops, tourism conference, travel shows, and peak season.

Board recommended continuing the Travel Monitoring System since it was new, giving the visitor industry more of a chance to participate and use the information. Research purchasing a new travel show booth, notify the industry as soon as possible on co-op deals (new items that come up for promotions) and develop a comprehensive marketing calendar. Consider a broader internship program – work with tribes and CVBs. Expand Adventure Travel Guide listings and print more copies for other visitor industry members to distribute. Increase poster space at the Information Centers. Suggested tweaks to the annual hospitality award and move application deadline for annual award and STAR designation to end of July. Bring back some state agencies for consultation sessions at the Tourism Conference.

The next meeting will be in Deadwood, May 2 and 3.

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Conducted interviews and offered internships to successful candidates. Sent regret letters to other candidates.

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Fish Days, June 2-4, Lake Andes: Mailed postcards to 2,260 tour operators in our target markets in addition to addresses provided by the local committee. Sent mock-up of magazine ad to the local committee for review and forwarded to South Dakota magazine for placement in the May/June issue.

Oz Festival/Dakota Heritage, June 9-10, Aberdeen: Celebrating Aberdeen’s 125th anniversary as well. Mailed postcards to 2,260 tour operators in our target markets. Placed ad in May/June issue of South Dakota magazine. Provided ad space in Great Getaways newspaper insert.

Black Hills Overdrive, Black Hills, June 9-18: Met with committee via conference call. Produced 22,600 magazine inserts to be sent with the Linechaser publication of the Minnesota Street Rod Association.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 13-16, Mitchell: Mailed postcard to tour operators and the remainders will be mailed to addresses provided by the local committee in early May. Placed ad in the South Dakota magazine’s May/June issue.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for February was up 19.4 percent at $192,266, as compared to $160,996 for February 2005. The tourism tax deposited for February was up 25.3 percent at $203,102, as compared to $162,107 for February 2005. The deposits in FY06 for gaming and the tourism tax are $6,387,799, as compared to $5,932,985 for FY05. This is an overall increase in revenue of 7.7 percent when comparing the same time period.

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