South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports

November 2006

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Richard Benda

   DATE:  December 11, 2006

   FROM:  Billie Jo Waara

   SUBJECT:  Tourism’s November Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Governor's Conference on Tourism
Agri-cultural and Heritage Tourism
Public Relations
Industry Relations
Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Film Office
Information Centers
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising
Winter Campaign
World Wide Web
Logo Usage
Great Events 2006 and 2007
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

Or, review Tourism`s November summary report to Secretary Benda.

Presented updates on Goal 1 and gathered comments to consider in achieving the goals of the Initiative from attendees at the 2010 public meetings in Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City.

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Contacted speakers regarding session materials and travel plans. Worked on arrangements for the Tribal Tourism Summit set for Wednesday morning, January 17. Conducted jury of the Made in South Dakota vendors who will have booth displays at the conference. Worked on details of sponsorships, décor, print materials, annual report, and meal functions. Worked with Visitor Industry Alliance on their arrangements for the Wednesday luncheon fund raiser luncheon and shirt sales.

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Attended and presented at the Agri-cultural Heritage Tourism Conference in Sioux Falls; 60 people attended. Worked on gathering information to determine the feasibility/use of an agricultural heritage tourism publication.

Set-up roundtable discussions with representatives from the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, and Game, Fish & Parks.

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Posted job opening for a Media and Public Relations Representative, which will focus on the film industry.

Continued posting press releases in the Uniquely South Dakota series that highlights counties (Clark, Clay, Codington, Corson and Custer Counties) on and posted 13 visitor industry press releases on the site.

Handled media calls and fulfilled requests for information from Louisiana Public Broadcasting; Iowa Public Broadcasting; Orchard Entertainment; Hy-Vee Seasons Newsletter; Craig Sorenson, owner of two South Dakota hunting lodges, for marketing and promotional opportunities; and Wisconsin Rifle & Pistol Association on pheasant and prairie dog hunting seasons

Implemented Vocus, a new media list/news clipping service.

Distributed media survey to 790 travel writers and other journalists and made follow-up calls.

Edited/updated Custer State Park article for Trailer Life magazine, a publication catering to owners of campers and motorhomes.

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Began compiling a list of partners, by city, who interested in helping Tourism host writers and travel agents and tour operators. List will be forwarded to appropriate CVBs and Chambers. Partners will generally assist in offering complementary lodging, food, and admissions.

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Designed ad for ResFlex Sweden Ad.

Fulfilled requests for information or other assistance to Landmark Tours, Wisconsin; and Carlson Wagonlit, Washington.

Sent e-mail to South Dakota CVBs and regional tourism associations to invite them to participate in the 2007 Trade blitzes to be held in Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis in late February and March.

Attended National Tour Association (NTA) Convention in Salt Lake City and met with 35 tour operators; attended networking functions and educational seminars. Organized and presided over Post-exchange caucus to share DMO leads with South Dakota suppliers attending NTA. During NTA, met with representatives from North Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba to discuss 2Nation Tours. Scheduled a meeting in Minnesota to review program.

Continued to search for South Dakota delegates interested in participating in 2007 TIA Pow Wow in California.

Assembled, routed and sent the November Travel Trade E-newsletter via to 68 recipients.

Participated in an e-news meeting to determine the best way to target travel agents and to get them to sign up for our Travel Trade Newsletter. Drafted a postcard to mail to AAA travel agents and to travel agents with whom we met at trade and travel shows and hostings.

Completed follow-up and thank you letters to the following: 300 contacts made at the American Society of Travel agents trade show; 60 South Dakota suppliers who hosted the Western Hospitality Travel Agent Fam Tour and 21 travel agents who participated; sent prize to travel agent in Wisconsin, winner from the MLT trade show; and sent prize to travel agent from Minnesota who registered at the Minnesota Travel Show.

Met with 45 Canadian AAA employees who were attending a training seminar in Deadwood. Hosted dinner at Mount Rushmore.

Hosted Markus Grau, Beaver Tours, Switzerland, who researched the area to expand current tours they offer and to develop future tours.

Held meeting in Hot Springs to finalize plans for Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Roundup in January. Others in attendance were RMI staff and representatives from Hot Springs and Deadwood. Made site inspections and discussed other needs for the fam, which included transportation and optional tours in Deadwood or Hot Springs during the Roundup. Thirty-five to 40 tour operators from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and The Netherlands will meet with South Dakota and regional suppliers in one-on-one appointments. Sent rough itinerary of the Black Hills optional fam day to RMI to distribute to international tour operators.

Attended World Travel Market with RMI, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho representatives and met with 66 tour operators and journalists. Will send information, travel trade show leads, and RMI Roundup registration information to 574 South Dakota suppliers interested in international tourism business.

Upon request, sent South Dakota fishing information and websites to U.S. Commercial Service, Spain.

Provided information to RMI for Grand Reportages article, France, on historic buildings; and Essentially America magazine, United Kingdom, for spring articles on outdoor movie theaters, Native American activities and attractions, spring festivals, historic and themed hotels, and great driving tours.

Reviewed and edited United Kingdom article on South Dakota to Ashley Gibbins, Chartered Institute of International Journalists, who attended the 2006 Buffalo Roundup.

Replied to e-mail from Karl Teuschl, Germany, journalist, who plans to film in South Dakota in July/August for a tourism segment.

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Reserved exhibitor space for Pheasant Fest in Des Moines in January.

Will attend the 2007 SHOT Show in Florida in January and will be an exhibitor with GOED. Will set up appointments with journalists as well.

Drafted hosting plan for media representatives from writer associations and other media contacts.

Hosted following journalists and/or set up hunts: Mike Hegedus, CNBC “On the Money;” Harry Canterberry, Adventure Sports Outdoors; Glenn Sapir and Bill Brassard, NSSF; Jeff Frischkorn, Omaha World Herald; and Larry Chesney, Sporting Classics magazine.

Worked on building an online newsroom and fam tour itinerary for media in the spring.

Toured Mike Kuchera’s pheasant operation in Mitchell; held discussions with John Geiman in Rapid City to generate publicity and articles in Outdoor Life, Outdoorsman with Buck McNeely, and Petersen's Hunting by M.D. Johnson.

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Fulfilled information requests from Production Update magazine, Indie Slate magazine, Andy Garcia Productions, HSI Productions, True North Productions, location scout for National Treasure II, and PLK Productions.

Attended and hosted reception at the American Film Institute film festival in Los Angeles with partner states in the Film the West consortium: Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.

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Calculated car count for October, which showed a decrease of 19 % over October 2005; for Canadian visitors, car count was down 4.3%; and car count for international visitors was up 10%. There were 34 motorcoaches/buses that stopped at the Lewis and Clark Information Center in October, and 9 were international.

Total car count for 2006 was down 4.9% over 2005; for Canadian visitors, car count was up 4.5%; and international car count was down 7.4%. Of 802 motorcoaches, 112 were international.

Use of travel tapes and CDs was down over 2005 by 9%.

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Reviewed hospitality nominations and sent notifications to recipients. For 2006, 612 individuals/businesses have received recognition for hospitality with the Governor’s Certificate; 87 have received the foil star for a second recognition; and 42 have received a gold lapel pin for a third recognition.

Will present a workshop at the Tourism Conference in January to re-launch the hospitality program – Great Service STAR.

Reviewed 81 Great Service Star (GSS) Program applications, and 78 earned the GSS designation for advertising campaigns. Reviewed these applications for consideration of the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award. Selected the top eight for the Tourism Board’s consideration and mailed the applications to them to review before they meet in December to make a recommendation to the Governor. The George S. Mickelson Great Service Award will be presented at the Tourism Conference banquet, January 18. 

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Total FY2007 Inquiries through 11-01-06

Mail:       7,808
Internet (e-mail):     25,468
Phone:       3,400
Total:      36,676

Total FY2006 Inquiries through 11-01-05:

Mail:         8,456
Internet (e-mail):       21,581
Phone:        4,140
Total:      34,177

For fiscal year 2007, there is an overall increase in inquiries of 7.3 percent over FY2006. 

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Worked with tribal tourism leaders to draft an agenda for the Tribal Tourism Summit at the Tourism Conference.

Participated in Community Day at Pine Ridge.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Capitol Christmas Committee, Cultural Heritage Center, South Dakota Telecommunications Association, State Publishing, Game, Fish and Parks, Department of Education, South Dakota Bankers Association, Department of Transportation, Pierre; Madison Chamber of Commerce; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; KSFY television, Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; TIE Media Services, Ridco Companies, Rapid City Journal, Total Kayoss Web & Graphic Design, Rapid City; Mount Rushmore History Association, Keystone; American Baptist Homes, Minnesota; All You magazine, Florida; CoinWorld Magazine, Ohio; Rocky Mountain International, Italy; and Eagle Rider, Netherlands.

Fulfilled requests for video footage: Stock footage to Reel Outdoors in Orem, Utah, to complement a show they are doing on pheasant hunting in South Dakota. Pheasant footage to Iowa Public Broadcasting in Des Moines to use in a show they are producing about South Dakota pheasant hunting. Missouri River and Lewis and Clark footage to Louisiana Public TV in Baton Rouge for a program they are producing on the Louisiana Purchase. Stock footage and hunting footage to CNBC in Tucson, Arizona, for a segment they are producing for “On the Money” to air in December. Mount Rushmore footage to TDG Communications in Deadwood for a video they are working on for the Mount Rushmore History Society. Stock footage to Lawrence and Schiller in Sioux Falls to use in a 2010 video they are producing. 

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Assembled and sent the November issue of Travelsmart, which was received by 144,448 list members.

Finalized details for printing the Co-op Marketing Kit, which will have new programs and will be unveiled at the Tourism Conference. Per suggestion on sharing Tourism’s marketing plan with the industry, the co-op kit will also be mailed to appropriate partners after the Tourism Conference, along with the Annual Report.

Mailed the 2007 Giant Step information and registration form to the industry in November. The program has been increased from 36 partners to 40. The $4,000 fee includes both peak and shoulder season campaigns. In addition, each of the partners will receive opportunities available only to them on Listed below are the publications included in the 2007 Giant Step Program:

Family Fun, April, May and June issues; Circulation: 263,474; Markets: Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul

Wondertime, April and June issues; Circulation: 400,000; Markets: National distribution

Child, April, May and June issues; Circulation: 85,624; Markets: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Chicago, and Milwaukee

Family Circle, April, May and June issues; Circulation: 447,450; Markets: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Chicago, and Milwaukee

Ladies Home Journal, April, May and June issues; Circulation: 449,000; Markets: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Chicago, and Milwaukee

Midwest Living, May and July issues; Circulation: 925,000; Full Circulation

Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, April issue; Circulation: 132,300; Markets: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Cabin Life, April and May issues; Circulation: 85,000; National distribution

Field & Stream, May and June issues; Circulation: 1,500,000; National distribution

Travel + Leisure Family, May issue; Circulation: 500,000; National distribution

Travel 50 + Beyond, June issue; Circulation: 115,000; National distribution

Researching options for new format of the 2007 Great Getaways and checking rates to do multiple insertions. Will mail registration form to the industry the end of December.

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Placed ad in January/February issue of Midwest Living magazine.

Sent a supply of snowmobile maps to Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes for their use in direct-mailing to snowmobile clubs and dealers; BHB&L members, colleagues, officials, press, etc. Maps are also distributed upon request by all partners.

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Provided updates on the golf courses, museums/art galleries and campground/recreation areas sections for the 2007 Vacation Guide.

Designed new cover for review.

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On Visitor Services Directory has 5,040 entries; and 68 vacation packages/travel specials are listed for 23 cities in 28 categories. Between October 28 and November 29, 56 e-postcards were sent by consumers. The state-wide Calendar of Events has 568 listings.

Reviewed mockups for Homepage, Experience pages, and Trip Planner for the enhancements.

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Developed inquiry report from Black Hills Central Reservation inquiry database. This pivot table report gives us the ability to customize the inquiry data by Tier 1, 2 or 3 markets and compare ad success in a given timeframe.

Worked with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications for direct access to the call center inquiry database as a more effective way to transfer files for analysis as well as customizing our inquiry report to show yearly comparisons, etc.

Completed the calculations for the 2006 Intercept Study, which will be reported in the Annual Report for distribution at the Tourism Conference, and placed on after the conference.

Fulfilled request for annual gross sales research.

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Logo sent to requestor for a new business at exit 61 in Rapid City; logo sent for adventure expo booth; logo sent for a regional health poster in Rapid City, and state seal sent to Rehabilitation Services.

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Conducted interviews for Graphic Designer position and plan to have new staff on board in January.

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Oz Festival/Dakota Heritage, June 9-10, Aberdeen: Working on compiling a report.

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Created individual pages on for each event which include a main photo and event dates as well as a message indicating that more information will be provided when it becomes available.

Czech Days, June 14-16, Tabor: Met with committee and reviewed their design ideas with staff designer. Compiled schedule of events for Drafted copy for e-mail to tour operators. Drafted promotional plan.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 19-22, Mitchell: Met with committee. Compiled schedule of events for Drafted copy for e-mail to tour operators. Drafted promotional plan.

Wheels & Wings Weekend featuring Sizzlin' Summer Nights, August 25-26, Aberdeen: This event is a car and plane show. Met with committee. Compiled schedule of events for Drafted copy for e-mail to tour operators. Drafted promotional plan, and will design a new logo, poster, postcard, rack card, and magazine and newspaper ads.

Mickelson Trail Trek, Mickelson Trail, September 14-16, Black Hills: Met with committee. Compiled schedule of events for Edited ad for the Adventure Cyclist’s 2007 Bike Event Guide. Drafted promotional plan.

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Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for October was up 30.4 percent at $285,865, as compared to $219,248 for September 2005. The tourism tax deposited for October was down 0.5 percent at $514,353, as compared to $517,082 for October 2005. The deposits for FY07 for gaming and the tourism tax are $4,651,544, as compared to $4,475,572 for FY06. This is an overall increase in revenue of 3.9 percent when comparing the same time period in FY06.

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