South Dakota Office of Tourism - sitemap

Monthly Report

February 2008

MEMORANDUM TO: Richard Benda

DATE: March 12, 2008

FROM: Melissa Bump

SUBJECT: Tourism’s February Monthly Status Report

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


2010 Initiative
Cultural Heritage Tourism
Media & Public Relations
Industry Relations
Trade Sales
Film Office
Information Centers
Travel Market Advertising
Great Events

Governor's Tourism Advisory Board

2010 Initiative

Please refer to the web site at for updates.

Or, review Tourism's February Summary Report to Secretary Benda.

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Cultural Heritage Tourism
Sorted applications into categories for the cultural/heritage publication and began imputing data.
Continued working on photo selections, copy, table of contents, etc.

Continued working with Jacquie Fuks from Southeast South Dakota Tourism and Bob Weyrich with Department of Agriculture on the Agri-Tourism Conference scheduled for July 15. Met with Weyrich on a meeting Country Adventures would like to have in Pierre.

Worked on developing a database of agri-tourism businesses.

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Media & Public Relations
Compilation of earned media: February – estimated ad value of $17,944 (circ. 835,721); and Fiscal Year 2008 – estimated ad value of $474,438 (circ. 8,176,157).

Fulfilled requests from Sales-Fax news, Omaha World Herald, American Park Network, John Burdick on ATV trails and gold panning, and inquiries from MediaSD. Interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio. Fulfilled fact-checking requests from Midwest Living.

Posted following press releases: To in-state media (posted to and the State News Web): “Industry Rallies Together at 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism,” “South Dakota Welcomes Their Great Neighbor,” and “Office of Tourism Media and Trade Blitzes Get Message Out to Key Markets.” Posted nine industry releases to Posted two industry releases to

Emailed the introductory letter and submission forms for the “In Your Own Backyard” series to the industry. Have received 12 submissions.

Sat in on conference call with the American Park Network (APN) to discuss ways we can work with the APN to help distribute their free guides of Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Parks. Provided information to them regarding the brochure guidelines at the Information Centers.

Currently registered and have stories on and

Continued working on details for New York City/Washington DC media blitz, April 21-25.
Notified of article, “From Pioneer Days to Present Times,” in Canadian World Traveller (circ. 77,000) written by David Cox, result of fam June 2007. The story was also added to their Web site, and the teaser copy and photo are listed with travel information for Italy, China, and Jordan.

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Industry Relations
Continued working with local committees on their Million Dollar Challenge projects.

Mailed Annual Report, Cooperative Marketing booklet, and Tourism Assistance Directory to mayors, economic development offices; and mailing to selected attractions, full and part-time Chambers and CVBs, industry leaders received the Annual Report and the Cooperative Marketing information.

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Trade Sales Group Tour/International
Sent requested information to Karen’s Charters, Courtyard Travel, Great Western Tours, California; Central Church Senior Adults, Tennessee; Friends Tours, Nevada; Purpose Driven Tours, Mississippi; Caren’s Charters, Kansas; Lamers Bus Lines, Wisconsin; and Wolfgang Engelke, Germany. Fulfilled requests from travel agents and regional directors from MLT World Vacations; AAA offices in Oklahoma, Ohio, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Minneapolis, Wisconsin, Missouri, and New York; Abbott Travel; Carlson Wagonlit; and various independently owned travel agencies.

Compiled leads from the National Tour Association (NTA) Annual Convention held in November from attendees, Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Association, Rapid City CVB, Deadwood CVB, Mitchell’s Corn Palace CVB, and Tourism. Sent leads to NTA/ABA (American Bus Association) members and completed follow up to 98 tour operator requests.

Met with 30 tour operators in prescheduled appointments at American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace in Virginia Beach. Coordinated and held a state caucus to share leads with South Dakota suppliers attending marketplace; attended educational seminars.

Continued to work on Group Tour Planning Guide; have received information from 81 partners to date.

Mailed group tour coupon (a list of print materials available from Tourism) and the group tour co-op ad to tour operators and group leaders on our database of 4,500. Drafted copy for postcard mailing to tour operators and travel agents to sign up for monthly Travel Professionals E-Newsletter, which currently is sent to 121 list members.

Finalized partner list for trade blitzes in Minneapolis, March 10-14, and Omaha/Sioux City, March 31-April 4, which includes Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes, Sioux Falls CVB, Watertown CVB, and Tourism (both); Rapid City CVB (Minneapolis); and Yankton CVB and Southeast Region (Omaha/Sioux City). Teams will meet with travel agents and tour operators to sell their destinations and the state as a whole.

Created website banner ad that will be placed in two different locations on the Midwest Meetings Web site for one year with a direct link to

Finalized itinerary for Travel Agent Fam, May 17-24; will mail invitations to travel agent database.

Fulfilled request from Jim Krantz, Minor County Extension Service, Howard, for itinerary information for tourism and agriculture-related activities for a group of 40-50 producers from Ohio who are planning a trip to South Dakota in September.

Coorindated with Miles Armstead, Canadian Traveller, on the “America Yours to Discover” issue for possible South Dakota participation.

Contacted Mary Ann Steen, Explore Minnesota and 2 Nation Tours, regarding the “Pioneer Spirit on the Great Frontier” fam in June for tour operators. Fam includes eastern South Dakota and a portion of Minnesota. Proofed postcard invitation for the two fam tours: South Dakota/Minnesota and North Dakota/Manitoba – invitees can choose either one or both.

Contacted attendees from 2007 Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) Pow Wow regarding attendance at the 2008 TIA Pow Wow in Las Vegas, May 31-June 4. Attendees include Rapid City CVB, Durst Investments, Crazy Horse Memorial, Ramkota Companies, Hospitality Central, and Tourism.

Attended North America Journeys (NAJ) West Summit and met with 25 inbound tour operators. NAJ develops itineraries for tour operators to sell to international clients.

Submitted a listing of South Dakota pow wows and rodeos to Tommy Swanson’s Travel, Sweden, for placement on their new website.

Fulfilled request from Sten Rastberg, Golden Coast Travels, Sweden, for assistance in finding lodging for clients planning to attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Contacted CVBs and Chambers in the Black Hills to find availability of rooms and forwarded information. Fulfilled request from Ingeborg Sorensen, Trillium Tours LLC, Minnesota, for assistance in finding lodging for a group of 16 Norwegian travelers and guides planning to attend the Rally. Contacted Sioux Falls CVB, Sturgis Chamber, Rapid City CVB, Deadwood CVB, and Spearfish CVB and forwarded information.

Wrote itinerary for Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Roundup tour for 10 tour operators to attend South Dakota post roundup fam tour of Black Hills area. Worked with RMI’s Italian office to review Italian translation of Great Parks & Monuments brochure.

Attended the Reiseliv Trade Show in Norway and VUSA Sweden, along with RMI staff and partner states of Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and Idaho for the Scandinavian Mission. While in Norway and Sweden, met with or conducted training for tour operators, travel agents, and media. In Norway: Oslo media event - three travel media plus members of the VUSA committee were present; FlyAway staff training for seven; Nordmann-Reiser staff training for nine; and Reiseliv Trade show - 29 travel media and tour operators stopped by RMI booth to gather information about the region, and the two day show drew 22,697 consumers. In Sweden: Stockholm media event for nine travel writers; Jambo Tours staff training for two; Discover America Event for 200 travel agents, tour operators, and travel media.

Prepared sample itinerary for ATI, Nordmans–Reiser, Norway, and Tommy Swanson’s Travel, Sweden, for placement in their catalogs and on their websites. Submitted the Buffalo Roundup to FlyAway Travel Agency, Norway, to be placed on their website.

Fulfilled photos requests from Dirk Rohrbach, Germany, for three upcoming tours. Fulfilled photo requests from Giancarlo Rondolotti, Italy, for upcoming article. Provided Buffalo Roundup information to journalist Godfrey Hall.

Completed Japanese Group Tour Fam itinerary for 10 Japanese group tour operators in the Black Hills and major attractions in June.

Emailed the top 100 tour operators at HIS, ANA and Jalpak, three Japanese tour companies regarding enhancements to and for international visitors.

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Worked with Glacial Lakes & Prairies Tourism Association to host five writers on an ice fishing fam: Larry Myhre, Sioux City Journal; Larry Porter, Omaha World Herald; Gary Howey, Outdoorsman Adventure TV; Jim McDonnell, freelance writer from Iowa; and Dave Carlson, Northland Adventures TV, Wisconsin.
Received an email form Doug Backlund with Game, Fish and Parks regarding an Ivory Gull that had been spotted at the Oahe Dam in Pierre. This gull is a very rare sighting for anyone in the United States as they usually do not leave the Arctic. Forwarded Doug’s email, along with his photos, to Tourism’s
targeted outdoors writer list in Vocus.

Emailed February story idea on Bald Eagles to 1,400 outdoors writers and editors.

Notified that CNBC – Mike On America – Pheasant hunting/Taxidermy story ran for the third time.

Compiled information for the following individuals interested in visiting South Dakota: Matt Ducharme, pronghorn hunting; Hiram Hutchison, pheasant hunting with kids; and Jerry Stevens, pheasant hunting.

Continued working on fams for Jim Niemiec, spring snow goose hunt, March; Early Ice-out Northing fishing trip, March/April; Joe Blake, turkey hunt, April/May; Bob Jensen, March fishing trip; and Kenneth Kieser, May fishing in the Black Hills.

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Film Office
Provided 2008 South Dakota Film Festival producers with Arts Council Guide to Grants information. Provided topographical map, courtesy of Game, Fish &P, to festival producers to be used in marketing efforts for their film festival to be held in September in Aberdeen.

Fulfilled requests for film production and tax refund information to Traci Langston; Megan Cissell, RebelM Productions; Cable Hardin; Gary Harris; Miriam Dick, Bellevue Entertainment; Bob Makela, Emmy magazine; Eve Honthaner, Dreamworks; Dawn Stephens, Agricultural Heritage Museum, Brookings; Jane Evans, Focus Features; and Teresa Konechne.

Emailed visitor industry partners encouraging them to provide services/locations listings to production crews while in South Dakota.

Provided film office history, recent success, and tax incentive information to Mitchell Daily Republic reporter Seth Tupper.

Sent press releases, “South Dakota Film Office gains full AFCI Membership” and “South Dakota presence at South by Southwest Film Festival” and posted them to FilmSD.

Worked with Film the West partner state of Montana regarding the South by Southwest Film Festival in March in Texas. There will be various screenings, booth space, and seminars. Worked with Film the West partner states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming on the booth concept for Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Locations Trade Show in April in Santa Monica.

Provided content and images to P3 Production Update for March issue, which included services provided by South Dakota Film Office, fee-free locations, tax refund program, and recent productions. Will distribute article at South by Southwest Film Festival and the AFCI Locations Trade Show.

Provided content to Markee Magazine for March issue for article on the recent filming of National Treasure: Book of Secrets and its impact on South Dakota since its release.

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Information Centers
Reviewed 135 applications for the travel counselor positions at the Information Centers; interviewed 74 returning applicants by phone. Contacted 89 applicants to set up face-to-face interviews on March 4 in Sioux Falls and March 5 in Chamberlain. Have begun making contacts for the training tour, May 1-8.

Will mail information/form for the poster program on March 1 and add to SDVisit.
Worked with Pheasant Land Industries and Certified Folders on the design of new brochure racks. Worked with Bureau of Information and Telecommunications to upgrade computers at the Centers.

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Mailed letter to all Chambers, CVBs, and development corporations with information and application on matching funds program to help pay for speakers for spring training. The hospitality program consists of two other training components: online hospitality curriculum program and train-the-trainer workshops.

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Total January Inquiries:                                            

Internet (e-mail):           13,880

Mail:                                1,540                                                                    

Phone:                            1,002  

Total:                              16,422


For fiscal year 2008, there is an overall increase in inquiries of 19%  percent over FY2007  

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Native American Tourism
Plan to attend the Badlands RC&D’s Indians and Pioneers Conference at Red Cloud Indian School on March 8.

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Fulfilled requests for photos/slides to Lawrence and Schiller, Sioux Falls; Game, Fish and Parks, Fischer-Rounds, Bureau of Finance, Department of Labor, Division of Benefits, South Dakota Historical Society, Pierre; author Ed McGaa, Grey Line of the Black Hills, Black Hills Harley Davidson, Rapid City; Black Hills State University, Spearfish; Ingalls Homestead, De Smet; Watertown CVB; Black Hills Central Reservations, Deadwood; Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, Living Here Magazine, Yankton; Native Discoveries, Faith; Quality Quick Print, Aberdeen; Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce; Omaha World Herald, Nebraska; Accent Art and Frame, Virginia; Travel Channel, Illinois; Wild West Magazine, California; Travel Beyond, Germany; and Cowboys Magazine, Italy.

Fulfilled video requests: stock footage and footage of Mount Rushmore to Paulson Media, Sioux Falls.

Developed list/ideas for media projects and hit list for the upcoming season. Continued to work on identifying social media sites for video footage placements.

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Travel Market Advertising
Finalized the following and shipped for the peak ’08 ad campaign: Tourism FSI for Tier One markets -- insertion is March 2 and March 30 for Gannet newspapers (Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc) and Eau Claire and La Crosse (March 2 only). Giant Step (1-page) Sylvan Lake magazine ad in Camping Life on sale March 11 and in Field and Stream on sale March 25. Giant Step (3-page) Falls Park magazine ad in Ladies Home Journal on sale April 10 and Parents on sale April 17. O (Oprah) magazine ad on sale April 15; Midwest Living magazine “Best of the Midwest” ad on sale March 25; and Frontier Airlines Wild Blue Yonder magazine ad March/April issue. Newspaper ads in Eau Claire, Milwaukee, Omaha, Des Moines, Gannett group (Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc), and St Paul Go Guide.

Finalized details for the Minneapolis campaign, beginning in March. Components include a train wrap of two cars with South Dakota images for 10 weeks on the Hiawatha light rail line; a street team handing out brochures promoting vacation packages offered by CVBs across the state and badge stickers during the first week of March; TV spots; newspaper ads; and a landing page to sign up for a Great Neighbor giveaway.

Other peak campaign elements include: fishing spot for Field and Stream website, image spot for website, Tourism TV donut spots, Orbitz banner ads, Deadwood Co-op newspaper ads in Denver and Minneapolis, Deadwood Co-op radio and TV spots, Rapid City Co-op newspaper ads in Minneapolis and St Cloud, Rapid City Co-op TV spot, and February issue of Travelsmart to consumers.

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Made multiple phone calls and email contacts in an effort to reach golf course managers and gather final information for listings. Finalized golf publication and requested bids, which will determine the print amount of 30,000 or 40,000.
Began designing a new two-color, 4-page guide for archaeology and paleontology; plan to print 3,000 copies for distribution at Information Centers and by request.

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World Wide Web/E-Commerce
On Visitor Services Directory has 5,158 entries; and 54 travel specials are listed for 10 cities. For Hot Deals, one hot deal is currently running. From January 29 to February 28, 31 e-postcards were sent by consumers.

Developed Outdoor Photography page for, which includes links to a new webpage about photography, the Photo Gallery, and “Dakotagraph” blog.

Redesign of Travelsmart, which is sent to a consumer database, will allow us to send specific content to subscribers, based on their interests.

Created and posted several Web pages of other state’s print advertising with comments on why they are good or not, as a reference tool for the visitor industry when creating their ads.

Was notified by the Editor of that they had featured the South Dakota Tourism website ( as one of the top 10 state tourism sites in the United States on the IgoUgo Travel Blog.

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Presented research and peak marketing efforts at Black Hills Central Reservations Annual Board Meeting in Rapid City.

Continued to collaborate with Corn Palace CVB by providing research assistance. Produced data reports for GMA’s Mount Rushmore Recreation Corridor Overview feasibility study for their Keystone project. Provided visitor tracking and barometer data to Custer Stampede Art Auction. Provided additional data and reports to Destination Development for the Rapid City re-branding project.

Reviewed landing page template, which is currently being used for the Minneapolis promotion. Will use analytics from the campaign to make necessary changes for future landing pages.

Contacted Black Hills Central Reservations (BHCR), Deadwood, and Rapid City CVB to discuss current phone number tracking into BHCR in order to track the success of the various co-op campaigns.

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Logo Usage
Sent logo to Redlin Art Center. Sent script to George Williams at Department of Agriculture for use on Web site header.

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Czech Days, Tabor – June 19-21: Contacted film company that shot a documentary of the 2007 event to inquire about scheduling a screening of their documentary at this year’s event. Designed magazine ads for placement in South Dakota magazine and Nebraska Life, due March 1. Schedule of events has been posted on’s Calendar of Events page.

Oahe Days, Pierre – June 20-22: Assisted committee to hire entertainment. Designed magazine ads for placement in South Dakota magazine and Nebraska Life, due March 1. Schedule of events has been posted on’s Calendar of Events page.

Festival of Presidents, Rapid City – June 27-28: Received approval of logo design. Designed a rack card and sent to the committee; they will print and pay for it. Designed magazine ad and sent to the committee to review. Will design ad for newspaper placement. Schedule of events has been posted on’s Calendar of Events page.

Mickelson Trail Trek, Black Hills (Outdoor Event) – September 19-21: Worked on design of a postcard for printing, with expected delivery by the end of March. Schedule of events has been posted on’s Calendar of Events page.

Hill City Western Heritage Festival, Hill City – September 20-21: Met with local committee. Schedule of events has been posted on’s Calendar of Events page.

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