South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Reports

March 2007

   MEMORANDUM TO:  Richard Benda

   DATE:  April 9, 2007

   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
Agri-cultural and Heritage Tourism
Media & Public Relations
Industry Relations
Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Film Office
Information Centers
Native American Tourism
Travel Market Advertising
World Wide Web
Logo Usage
Summer Internships
Governor's Tourism Advisory Board
Great Events 2007
Tourism Office Funding


Please refer to for updates.

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

[ back to top ]


Attended a meeting at Fort Sisseton to discuss tourism opportunities in that area. Attended the Fort Sisseton Commission meeting in Pierpont.

[ back to top ]


Handled media calls and fulfilled requests for information from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Marquee magazine, and several inquiries. Provided South Dakota Wine Industry references to Wall Street Journal writer. Referred names of chefs to New Jersey writer working on the book, “Chefs Behind Today’s Television Series and Movies.” Interviewed by American Cowboy and National Geographic Traveler magazines.

Scheduled appointments with 15 media professionals in Denver and seven in Minneapolis to discuss South Dakota’s story opportunities; completed follow-up regarding each writer’s subject(s) of interest. Appointments included Major League Marketing, Denver Post, Orion Multimedia, Mile High Magazine, Rocky Mountain Sports Magazine and freelance writers in the Denver area. In Minneapolis, appointments included Star Tribune, Snowgoer/ATV sport magazines, and Pheasants Forever. Invited writers from Denver and Minneapolis media blitz to consider joining the June media fam.

Drafted letter and sent gifts to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, inviting her to film a segment at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Worked with Alan Madison and his TV crew from the Emeril Live Show on the Food Network. They came to South Dakota to do a story on a contest winner and contacted Tourism for more story ideas. Worked with Keith Wintersteen from the Black Hills, and as a result the crew was in South Dakota one day longer than they had planned. The show will air in November.

Sent press releases to following: outdoors writers – “South Dakota Spring Hunting Season…For the Birds;”
national travel writers – “South Dakota Golf: Abundant, Affordable, Amazing;” in-state media – Uniquely SD series that highlights counties (Hand, Hanson, Harding and Hughes); and nine industry releases posted to – National Treasure: Book of Secrets Announces Casting Call Press Release, Travelsmart: Golf in South Dakota, Filming Location Destination, SDSU Student Film Festival, and

Compilation of earned media: March – estimated ad value of $88,202 with circulation of 2,504,640; 2007 – estimated ad value of $157,167 with circulation of 3,235,975; and Fiscal Year 2007 – estimated ad value of $696,140 with circulation of 14,692,414.

[ back to top ]


Will set up meetings with people/projects that received approval for the Fiscal Year 2008 Governor’s Million Dollar Challenge applications.

[ back to top ]


Mailed the 2007-2008 Group Tour Planning Guide to 2,800 domestic and Canadian tour operators and travel agents on our database that have requested information. Mailed 2,000 coupons to request the new Planning Guide to group tour operators and travel agents on our database who have not previously requested it and which provides a list from which they can request additional information. Mailed the Planning Guide to 220 South Dakota participants that have listings in the guide. Mailed Group Tour Co-op piece and coupon to request additional information to 4,500 group tour operators and travel agents on database.

Reviewed effectiveness of the Travel Trade e-newsletter mailing to tour operators and AAA/CAA offices. Considering another postcard mailing to travel agencies to encourage them to sign up for Travel Trade.
Assembled, routed, and sent the Travel Trade E-newsletter, which was received by 140 list members.

Fulfilled requests for information from AAA/CAA offices in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada.

Made arrangements for trade blitzes in Denver and Minneapolis. Worked with representatives from Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Association and CVBs in Deadwood, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Watertown, and Sioux Falls. Partners could team up with others for appointments in one or both cities. Mission of blitzes was to familiarize offices with what South Dakota has to offer, train their staff, and answer questions on South Dakota. For Denver, teams made sales calls to 24 companies and in Minneapolis, teams met with 30 companies.

Researched and requested 40 appointments for African American Travel Conference to be held April 17-19.
Researched and requested 100 appointments for TIA Pow Wow in California. It is the 39th annual meeting of the travel industry's premier international marketplace and the largest generator of Visit USA travel.

Per requests, shipped 30 Vacation Guides to Ireland, 30 information packets to travel agency in the Bahamas, and 170 information packets to Washington DC, New York City, and Las Vegas for Osamu Hoshino to use in his sales missions.

Worked with Osamu Hoshino to prepare a fam tour which will encompass the Black Hills/Badlands area this spring. He plans to bring approximately 10 tour operators from Japan.

Assisted Mary Carroll, group tour leader from Ireland, who will be bringing a group of Irish women involved in agriculture in that country for a tour of agriculture-related sites in South Dakota in October. Continued working with the Corn Palace CVB for hotel accommodations and ag-related visitor sites in eastern South Dakota. Group will also visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial and other major attractions in the Black Hills.

Attended Scandinavian Mission with Rocky Mountain International (RMI) partners from Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming as well as representatives from the RMI office in Cheyenne. Offered training in Denmark and Sweden for key United States sales staff of tour and travel companies.

Working with RMI and Wyoming on Scandinavian travel agent and media fam to be held this spring with the South Dakota portion from May 30-June 2 in the Black Hills region. Working with North Dakota Tourism on itinerary for 2Nation Tours fam planned for June.

Attended ITB Tradeshow in Berlin and worked the booth with RMI partners. Met with 68 tour operators and journalists. Attended Paris Mission with RMI partners, which began with a trade and press workshop held at the United States International University for 50 tour operators, travel agents and members of the press. Made sales calls and held trainings with RMI states at the following companies: Jetset for 15 travel agents, Comptoir for six staff members, Voyaguers du Monde with the new project manager, Attitudes, Back Roads for five staff members, Vacances Transat for 20 staff members, Maison des Etats-Unis with product manager, and Intermedes for eight staff members. Held VIP dinner for 44 French travel trade and press.

[ back to top ]


Sent story on spring hunting opportunities to outdoors writers list from Vocus as well as other outdoors contacts.

South Dakota was mentioned on Cast and Blast radio with Scott Linden as one of his top ten hunter-friendly destinations. His show has over 3.8 million listeners.

[ back to top ]


Continued planning and coordinating with crew of National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

Worked on preparations for upcoming Locations Trade Show in Santa Monica with other Film the West partners. Discussed advertising option available at Cannes Film Festival with members of Film the West

Placed ad in the Kemps Production Guide for 2008.

Visited with potential director and producer for upcoming film for an upcoming scout to the state this fall. If they choose South Dakota, filming would take place in mid 2008. Mailed packet of information.

Assisted a broadcasting company in Florida per information on permit use and application for filming on tribal land. Sent photos with location information for four South Dakota historical markers for possible segment on TV show. Fulfilled request from director for buildings in the state for location(s) as a possible filming site; if chosen, filming would occur in August; sent tax incentive information and film guide.

Worked with Black Hills Film Resource Council to secure filming location at Rapid City Swim Center

Organized and attended Reel-Scout (Locations Library and Projects System) demonstration.

[ back to top ]


Conducted interviews in Sioux Falls, Chamberlain and Tilford for travel counselors at the Interstate Information Centers. Sent regret letters to unsuccessful candidates; sent hire packets to others. Continued working on details of fam tour of the northwestern part of the state, April 28 – May 3, in 10 communities.

Ordered two new brochure racks to be built by Pheasantland Industries for the Wilmot Information Center. Worked with Department of Transportation to get the Centers ready for computers and with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications to get surplus printers. Reviewed brochures for consideration of placement in the Centers.

Ordered 500 sets of travel CDs and 800 new cases, inserts and covers. CDs and audio tapes are available at each Center for use by travelers.

The poster co-op program letter was mailed to the industry on March 1. Currently, we have 64 partners.

[ back to top ]


Worked with the Sioux Falls CVB and Rapid City CVB as a financial partner to bring speakers into each city for hospitality training in May.

Worked with Tourism Board and staff in a hospitality brainstorming session. Group recommended to resurrect Tourism Office’s “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” training video and materials, which will be updated.

[ back to top ]


Total FY2007 Inquiries through 04-01-07

Mail:       14,553
Internet (e-mail):     72,455
Phone:       8,312
Total:      95,320

Total FY2006 Inquiries through 04-01-06:

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

For fiscal year 2007, there is an overall increase in inquiries of 5.4 percent over FY2006. 

[ back to top ]


Attended the Indians and Pioneers Meeting in Gordon, Nebraska.

[ back to top ]


Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Lawrence and Schiller, Outdoor Campus, Augustana College, Sioux Falls; South Dakota magazine, Yankton; Unified Judicial System, South Dakota Lottery, Secretary of State’s Office, South Dakota Arts Council, Pierre; Air Service Task Force, Deadwood; Riddles Jewelry, Pro Print, PrairieWave Communications, Mudpie magazine, Rapid City; Focus Watertown; Avera-St. Lukes Hospital, Aberdeen; Markee magazine, Florida; National Geographic Adventure magazine, Washington DC; John Ratzenberger’s “Made in America” TV show, California; and Prairie Business magazine, North Dakota.

Presented a slide show/talk at Black Hills State University as both a recruiting effort for future interns and to brief the class on the Office of Tourism and the visitor industry.

Fulfilled requests for video dubs and loans: Sent stock footage to Firelight Media in Berkley, California, for them to review for an upcoming shoot. Sent stock footage and Sturgis Rally footage to Robert Sharp and Associates in Rapid City for use in developing promotional videos. Sent Mount Rushmore footage to TV Land Productions in Santa Monica, California, for use in producing an awards show video.

Continued to learn operations of the new video editing system. Had new compression software installed to work with system and the Windows desktop system. Researched music library and flash compression software to go with the system.

[ back to top ]


Placed Giant Step ads in publications with the following themes in June: buffalo theme in Family Fun and Ladies Home Journal, Badlands theme in Family Circle, fishing theme in Child, and Rushmore family in Wondertime.

Placed full-page ads in following magazines with the following themes: Fishing theme in Field & Stream (May and June issues) and Travel 50 & Beyond (June issue); Chief Dave in Budget Travel (May issue); and Rushmore family in Travel & Leisure (June issue).

Placed newspaper ads in following with themes noted: Rushmore Grandma two-page ad, Chicago Tribune Magazine, 4/15/07; Free Standing Insert (FSI) on 4/8/07 in Chicago (zoned), Eau Claire, La Cross, Green Bay (zoned), Appleton, Oshkosh, Fon du Lac, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc newspapers; placed weekly newspaper ads in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Des Moines, Mankato, and Omaha.

Placed TV spots in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota markets.

Placed banner ads in selected markets with TACODA and developed Black Hills landing page as part of a co-op.

The co-op with Deadwood includes placement of weekly newspaper ads in Cheyenne, Casper, Denver, and Minneapolis; advertorials for St. Paul and Denver; FSI – drops April 8 in Denver, Casper, and Cheyenne. TV spot in Denver; radio spots in Denver, Minneapolis, Casper, and Cheyenne; and two-page spread in Deadwood Guide.

Designed layouts for the three full-color Great Getaways marketing pieces and sent to the printer. The drop dates to the selected newspapers are May 2 through May 20. Combined newspapers circulation for each insertion is over 660,000.

Assembled and routed the March issues of Travelsmart (three different tiers). Sent the issues via on March 20-21, to list members as follows: 24,221 in Tier 1 (version A) in Illinois, Wisconsin, West Virginia; 119,110 in Tier 1 (version B) – all others in identified markets/states; 39,854 in Tier 2 in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wyoming; and 4,539 in Tier 3 in North Dakota and South Dakota. A total of 187,724 received the message from a list of 191,658 “active members."

[ back to top ]


Worked on designing layout of the backside of the official state highway map. Department of Transportation will be sending actual map file to printer. Expect delivery of maps in June.

[ back to top ]


On Visitor Services Directory has 5,053 entries; and 88 vacation packages/travel specials. From March 1-31, 77 e-postcards were sent by consumers. The state-wide Calendar of Events has 582 listings. Added the “Win Your Free Ride” Sturgis banner to the Sturgis Rally webpage and a link from TravelSD (to be removed at the end of April).

[ back to top ]


Approved process for TACODA banners’ landing pages as a part of an Internet campaign with the advertising network that behaviorally targets consumers. TACODA has partnerships with more than 4,000 online publishers and delivers banner advertisements to interested consumers wherever they appear within the websites of the various partners.

[ back to top ]


Attended presentations on Site Logic; Social Media 101; Webinar by ClickTracks; and Web Analytics Webinar by AMA and one by Demystified: Ten Simple Strategies for Using Web Analytics to Improve Your Online Marketing Efforts.

Increased traffic tracking capabilities through increased coding.

[ back to top ]


Fulfilled requests to representative from NESDCAP to use logo on T-shirt for national conference; Wheeler Tank for new welcome signs; Public Utilities Commission; and Bureau of Information and Telecommunications.

[ back to top ]


Photography internship was accepted by Jesse Nelson, who is attending Black Hills State University and majoring in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Photography. His hometown is Rapid City.

Media/Public Relations internship was accepted by Jennifer Anderson, who is attending the University of South Dakota and majoring in Contemporary Media & Journalism with an Advertising and PR emphasis. Her hometown is Canova.

Visitor Industry Relations internship for the Information Centers was accepted by Jake Jessop. He is attending the University of South Dakota and majoring in Business Management with a Human Resources Management specialization. Jake’s hometown is Presho.

Creative/Visitor Industry Relations internship was accepted by Jamie Nickelson, who is attending Black Hills State University and majoring in Business Administration/Specialization in Tourism. Her hometown is Philip.

Research internship was accepted by Margaret Haley (Maggie), who is attending the University of South Dakota and majoring in Political Science. Her hometown is Huron.

Unsuccessful candidates were notified.

[ back to top ]


Tourism Board members, Tourism staff, executive directors of the four regional tourism associations, and business leaders met to review 2010 Initiative notes from November, as well as brainstorming suggestions and Focus Group information from the 2007 Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Additional brainstorming topics were discussed and ideas will be refined for Tourism’s goals and developed into short and long term goals and priorities. The group also heard presentations from Black Hills Center for Tourism Research, Black Hills Central Reservations, and Lawrence & Schiller.

[ back to top ]


Czech Days, June 14-16, Tabor: Sent oversized event postcards to 577 tour operators in the surrounding states.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, July 19-22, Mitchell: Placed ad in South Dakota magazine. Began design of poster. Newspaper ads will be designed from information submitted by the local committee. Sent oversized event postcards to 517 tour operators in the surrounding states.

Wheels & Wings Weekend featuring Sizzlin' Summer Nights, August 25-26, Aberdeen: Sent oversized event postcards to 700 tour operators in the surrounding states. Worked on design of logo, poster, rack card, magazine and newspaper ads, and magazine insert.

Mickelson Trail Trek, Mickelson Trail, September 14-16, Black Hills: Event postcards were mailed by local committee. Researched databases to provide mailing labels specific to profile of travelers most likely to attend this event for a direct mailer.

[ back to top ]


Deadwood gaming revenue deposited for February was up 17.5 percent at $225,964 as compared to $192,266 for February 2006. The tourism tax deposited for February was up 18.0 percent at $239,659, as compared to $203,102 for February 2006. The deposits for FY07 for gaming and the tourism tax are $6,746,600, as compared to $6,387,800 for FY06. This is an overall increase in revenue of 5.6 percent when comparing the same time period in FY06.

[ back to top ]