ND Summer Tourism a Success | VideoAmanda Tetlak | 8/13/2010
The tourism division says North Dakota is in a great position because while other states are on a downward trend, we`re on an upward one.
John Clemons is stopping at Fort Lincoln State Park on his way back from a Canadian vacation. He has a particular interest in General George Custer and enjoyed his first visit to the historical site.
"The authentic part of originally 1875. A lot of the pieces in the house that were actually salvaged were actually his," said Clemons.
Clemons is just one of the thousands of visitors coming through Fort Lincoln State Park this summer. Tour guides say they`ve been busier than expected leading visitors that hail from not only all over the country, but all over the world.
"Poland, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland," said Lance White, Fort Lincoln interpretive guide.
The North Dakota Tourism Division says traffic at all state parks is up 7 percent from last year with a little over 400,000 visitors so far this year.
The tourism division says year-to-date revenue per available hotel room is up about 11 percent, national park visitation is up 20 percent and Canadian border crossings are up 24 percent over last year.
"North Dakota is still the most affordable state in the nation," explained Kim Schmidt, North Dakota Tourism Division public and media relations director. "That coupled with the fact that we have some wonderful outdoor events and attractions to offer within the state."
The tourism division also attributes the growth to the new RU Legendary campaign launched this year that invites visitors to talk about their experiences online.
Schmidt said, "It`s great for people to get to see other people actually getting the experience rather than us touting North Dakota, they`re seeing it themselves."
And Clemons said he didn`t quite spend enough time here in North Dakota.
The tourism division says North Dakota is unique, because tourism has been increasing in recent years, while many other states are rebounding this year after a difficult 2009.