North Dakota Tourism expects to bounce back following the pandemic

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 6:45 PM CDT
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The pandemic has left many industries struggling, including one of our state's most important.

North Dakota's tourism leaders says they've seen a $281 million drop in visitor spending since it began.

Tourism works with more than 29,000 businesses, with dining, retail, and lodging taking an especially hard hit.

Their job usually revolves around promoting the state externally to bring in revenue from travelers. But with shelter-in-place orders and travel restrictions, they've had to shift their focus inward, by encouraging those already living in North Dakota to use the open spaces to their advantage.

North Dakota Tourism was promoting this year's campaign "follow your curiosity, not the crowds," before they even knew how important that message would be.

"The fact that our messaging was completely relevant before COVID and continues to be relevant, I think is going to set us up for a quick rebound once it's safe to travel,” says North Dakota Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman.

Virtual tours allow for people to see the state from the comfort of their own homes and plan potential future trips.

To take a virtual tour, you can go to