SD Tourism Weathers Pandemic Just Fine Posted by John Axtell Date: January 19, 2021 163 Views Many experts thought that tourism, one of South Dakota’s top industries, would take a huge hit in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, tourism officials say it wasn’t as bad as many other states. That’s because instead of tourism opportunities based on large group activities such as theater, sporting events, museums, festivals, and conventions, South Dakota tourism is based on outdoor opportunities – many of them solo or family-oriented. From hiking in the Black Hills to driving through the Badlands, South Dakota’s outdoor venues attracted near- normal numbers of tourists in 2020 and the state tourism board thinks 2021 will be the same. Hospitality businesses and organizations across the state are looking forward to a new year and a vaccine for a fresh start in 2021. The South Dakota Dept of Tourism is hosting the 2021 Governor’s Conference on Tourism tomorrow and Thursday with both virtual and limited in-person attendance. This year’s conference theme, “Onward!,” acknowledges the challenges the industry has faced while providing encouragement to stay focused and determined through 2021 and beyond.