New technology helps bring in tourists

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Technology and tourism seem to be working together quite nicely as Travel South Dakota uses new tech to send targeted ads to people who may be interested in visiting the state. At the 6th annual Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Summit they discuss how tourism is using this technology.

Advertisements for clothes, shoes , home goods and travel are everywhere and with new technology companies have new tactics to gain attention from potential customers based on what their interests are.

"It's an exciting time to be in tourism marketing because it's gotten so much more sophisticated and like I said we can target those audiences to their specific interest to inspire them to come to South Dakota," says Jim Hagen, secretary of tourism for Travel South Dakota.

With new ways to research what people want in their vacation it can help bring in more tourists. Each year for the past seven years new records have been set for visitation and visitor spending to South Dakota, and the tourism industry employs 54,000 people across the state.

"Specifically to the Black Hills it's the major industry out here in the Black Hills. And we're so blessed to have this industry here, a lot of states would give their left arm to have what we have. It's incredibly important," says Hagen.

Since the state has so much to offer there is something for everyone and making sure that the right ads go out to the right people will help bring in more visitors.

"Because we're going after a better qualified audience, people who we know are interested in South Dakota or interested in traveling to South Dakota or taking a vacation we can target those messages to them," Hagen says.

Even when people haven't interacted with Travel South Dakota's website, if they have similar interests to a person who has, analytical software can allow Travel South Dakota and other travel sites to target those people too.

"They look like people we know who are interested in South Dakota and we know that they share all these same traits, chances are they're probably going to be interested in a vacation in South Dakota as well," says Hagen.