Travel And Tourism Benefit Yankton

May 5-11 is National Travel and Tourism Week.  Each year, during the first week in May communities nationwide unite around a common theme to showcase travel’s contributions to the economy and American jobs.

This year, the travel industry is coming together to celebrate why “Travel Matters” to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

Let’s take a closer look at why travel matters right here in Yankton.

Tourism is a major economic engine

Tourism provides a tremendous economic impact to the Yankton area. In 2018 alone, Yankton County generated $74 million dollars in visitor spending, up 4% over 2017. This is not surprising when you start to look at the number of visitors our State Park alone attracts to Yankton, and how it stacks up to other attractions across the state. Lewis & Clark Recreation Area is the second most visited state park in the state of South Dakota, behind Custer State Park and is the fourth most visited overall attraction across the State of South Dakota trailing only Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park & Badlands National Park.

Tourism supports local jobs

Many families across the State of South Dakota and Yankton County have an extremely intimate relationship with tourism because it provides for their livelihood. Across the state, nearly 55,000 jobs are sustained by tourism and here at home, more than 1,200 individuals are employed in a tourism-related field, that is 7.5% of all jobs in Yankton County.

Tourism generates taxes

Without tourism South Dakota households would spend an additional $865 each year on taxes. Last year alone, tourism generated $4.95 million in state and local taxes in Yankton County and an astounding $298 million in taxes across the State of South Dakota. The exciting thing about these statistics is that 73% of these taxes are paid by visitors from outside of our state borders.

It is for these reasons that it is vitally important to continue to market Yankton as a tourism destination and it is also important to point out that for every dollar invested in tourism marketing we see a $51 return in visitor spending and $3 return in state and local taxes.

The impact that tourism can have on a community extends even farther with something called the Halo Effect. In 2016 the South Dakota Department of Tourism engaged in a study with Longwoods International which found that when a visitor journeys to South Dakota they are left with a very positive and lasting impression. The same is said for potential visitors who are exposed to positive marketing of the state. After being exposed to messaging promoting tourism in South Dakota, these individual’s positive perception that South Dakota was a good place to live, attend college, start a business and retire all saw increases. Proving that tourism provides a direct benefit to future economic development objectives.

Those are some pretty important initiatives, and the Yankton Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited to play such an important role in our community. Therefore, we ask you to join us in celebrating National Travel and Tourism week, May 5-11, because Travel DOES Matter.

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