As South Dakota, and every other state in America, tries to lure back visitors following an unprecedented downturn as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is providing some much-needed resources to boost tourism.

The Mount Rushmore State is getting $2,783,533 from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration as part of the $750 million 'American Rescue Plan'.

The amount is the third-lowest among all states, only North Dakota ($2,714,093) and Wyoming ($2,705,435) received less money.

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Not surprisingly, states that are considered major tourist destinations received the most grant money. California got $45.9 million and New York received $44.9 million.

According to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the state lost 13 percent of the visitors and 18 percent of the economic impact from tourists in the aftermath of the COVID outbreak in early 2020.

That was actually fairly mild compared to the rest of the nation, which saw tourism spending drop a whopping 45 percent during that same time.

The biggest drop was in airline travel to the state's two biggest cities, Sioux Falls and Rapid City, which was down 48 percent.

South Dakota has 49,500 jobs supported by the tourism industry, representing one out of 12 jobs in the state.


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