- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman say 24 million people visited North Dakota in 2013, spending $3.6 billion.

The visitation was up 22 percent from 2011 and the spending was up 19 percent. Dalrymple and Coleman say the growth shows the importance of the tourism industry to North Dakota.

Cass County had the highest tourism revenue in 2013, at $537 million. Oliver County had the lowest amount, at $2 million.

The state Tourism Division commissions the study on visitation every two years. Officials say it uses international standards for measuring the contribution of tourism to an economy.

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