Could oil prices impact ND tourism?

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BISMARCK, N.D. - April has shown a spike in oil prices which could translate to higher travel prices for you, right as the summer travel season starts. Sara Otte Coleman, the state tourism director says this might actually improve the tourism industry for North Dakota.

Photo courtesy ND Tourism

Ads by the North Dakota Department of Commerce are actually targeted at states in the Midwest where traveling to North Dakota might be more economical than other vacations if gas prices are on the rise.

"It really doesn't make that much difference in the whole budget of a trip. Right now you'd be looking at about $20 more on a round trip from, say, Minneapolis to Bismarck. So in the light of, are you going to skip your vacation, are you going to not go? We don't usually think that it's a deal breaker," said Coleman.

Coleman says that higher oil prices right now might actually increase tourists coming to see what our state has to offer. Though this trend might not hold up.

"Throughout the rest of 2018, they are actually anticipating a slight downward trend in oil pricing in the US before supply and demand starts to shift prices higher in 2019 and beyond," said Justin Kringstad, ND Pipeline Authority Director.

For the rest of the year, gas prices might be going back down. Coleman says another factor affecting tourism this year might be the long winter the state has seen.

"I think that everyone is going to have so much pent up energy, and be so anxious to get out and about once it warms up in our part of the country, that I think we're going to see a strong early summer travel season once the weather lines up," said Coleman.

Thousands of reservations have already been made to tour Fort Abraham Lincoln next month.

To find more things to do across the state, go to ndtourism.com