RAPID CITY, S.D. – Summer tourists have left, but the impact of their travel is still driving economic growth in Rapid City. Occupancy rates, travels sales and booked travel packages to Rapid City all saw substantial increases in June, July and August.
The occupancy rate at Business Improvement District (BID) properties within Rapid City rose 8.5 percent over June through August 2009. Travel sales booked through Black Hills Central Reservations for Rapid City lodging and attractions increased 15.6 percent over the same three-month period. July alone saw a 25.6 percent increase in Black Hills Central Reservation sales.
“We are very happy with this summer’s tourism revenues,” says Michelle Lintz, executive director of the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Feelings about the economy may be uncertain, but this summer’s tourism numbers show that people have not halted their travel spending.”
Several travel trends can be found in the peak season tourism data, including more late booking and increased motorcoach travel. Tour operators and hospitality businesses noticed a marked increase in late bookings this summer. Hotel owners reported a large number of walk-in guests. The high volume of last minute customers allowed proprietors to maintain higher room prices and to fill a greater number of rooms and properties.
An increase in contacts with the motorcoach industry also expanded opportunities for group travel. Tour operators sought out unique destinations and attractions with added value as they planned itineraries, including cost effective options such as factory tours and local events.
“Rapid City has so much to offer travelers,” says Lintz. “Watching trends and tracking visitor spending helps us to continue to attract visitors and encourage economic growth.”
The Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau monitors and reports developments and trends in the tourism industry each year. The Rapid City CVB is a division of the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce. The CVB’s mission is to market the Rapid City area as a convention and leisure destination and to promote economic growth that will enhance the area for visitors and residents.
Taken from a Visit Rapid City Press Release.