- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Officials say South Dakota’s tourism industry attracted a record number of visitors last year.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism said Thursday that 2016 marked the seventh consecutive year of economic growth for tourism in the state.

A new study by Tourism Economics finds 13.9 million people visited South Dakota in 2016, an increase of 1.4 percent from the previous year. Visitors spent $3.8 billion last year - an increase of 1.5 percent - and generated more than $279 million in state and local taxes.

The study also finds tourism supported more than 53,000 jobs in South Dakota last year.

South Dakota Tourism Secretary James Hagen credits effective, targeted marketing, low gas prices and landmark anniversaries for the increase.

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Online:

To see the Tourism Economics report, go to http://www.SDVisit.com

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