SD sees increase in international tourists

Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Dakota. State tourist officials say international tourists visitng the stare are up from last year.
Photo courtesy of South Dakota Tourism

South Dakota tourism officials are seeing an increase in international tourists this season.

Informal counts at state rest stops show an increase of about six percent over the same first six weeks of summer vacations as last year.

Wanda Goodman is the spokesperson for the South Dakota Tourism Department. She says a weak American dollar is the reason for the increase in visitors.

"The exchange rate for the U.S. dollar to the Euro was $1.57. Which is a 17 percent increase from a year ago. Which means for Europeans, America is 17 percent cheaper to visit right now. So it's kind of like America is on sale for the International tourist," said Goodman.

Goodman says international tourists tend to stay longer and spend more money than domestic tourists.

She says the number of domestic travelers to the state is down.

Last year tourism's economic impact in the state was estimated at $941 million.

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