RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Tourism is a huge economic driver in the Black Hills and the region might be getting a bit more publicity. Forbes Magazine lists South Dakota 13th in their list of 14 places to visit in 2019 and other publications have included the Black Hills as well.
The Black Hills have a variety of things to do and see for tourists of all ages. Something that helps put the state on the Forbes "14 Best Places to Travel in the US in 2019" list.
"This kind of exposure from national publications is invaluable to our future in the tourism industry," says Julie Scmitz Jensen president and CEO of Visit Rapid City.
Tourism brings in more than 700 million dollars annually to the Black Hills and in recent years more people have shown interest in visiting Rapid City and have called travel agencies to find out what there is to do.
"I mean we have got so many things to see and do right in Rapid City I'm starting to say 'you should come and visit Rapid City, and then if you have time you should go to Mt. Rushmore," says Jensen.
The boost in tourism has helped Rapid City Regional Airport add more flights.
"Rapid City airport, we've started getting a lot more direct flights in the summer we've got Charlotte, we've got Newark, and often times we've got Houston so it really shortens the travel time and makes us more accessible for other people," says Jessica Linquist a travel advisor with Bursch Travel.
Interest in the Black Hills isn't random. Digital marketing targets people who may be interested in what Rapid City has to offer and multiple articles from various travel sites suggest Rapid City as a must see destination.
"That's publicity that we could not afford to purchase. That is free publicity except for the cost of her travel out here to see us. So once people come see us Rapid City and the Black Hills sells itself," says Jensen.