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Economic impact of SD tourism up 2.8 percent

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm •  Published: January 23, 2014

State Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen said the increase in tourism is partly due to the state's marketing campaign in nearby states. South Dakota also is attracting more visitors from other nations, including China, he said.

Information centers at interstate highway rest stops reported tour bus visits were up by 9 percent last year, while tour buses carrying foreign visitors were up 38 percent.

Daugaard said South Dakota attracts visitors because it offers attractions such as Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park in the Black Hills and the mountain carving of 19th century Oglala Lakota leader Crazy Horse.

The study of tourism's economic impact was done by IHS Global Insight, which also does forecasting to help the state craft its annual budget. The report was based on actual spending from January through October, with estimates for tourist spending in November and December.