North Dakota Travel and Tourism Week highlights state’s third-largest industry

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Travel industry brought $3.6 billion and 24 million visitors to North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. –- Nationally, the travel industry contributes $2.1 trillion to the U.S. economy, and one in every nine American jobs depends on the industry. The impact of this is significant right here in North Dakota, as well, with travel supporting 26,600 jobs and bringing in $3.6 billion in visitor spending. Travel is the state’s third-largest industry seeing visitation to North Dakota increase 22 percent between 2011 and 2013, with tourism-related expenditures increasing 19 percent over the same time period.

In recognition of the travel industry’s significant contributions to our state, Gov. Jack Dalrymple has declared May 2-10North Dakota Travel and Tourism Week.”

North Dakota Travel and Tourism Week is held in conjunction with the U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel and Tourism Week, an annual salute to the tourism and travel industry that highlights the industry’s benefits and importance to communities and Americans.

“Tourism is an integral partner in our state’s economic growth, and we're encouraged with the kind of results we are seeing,” Dalrymple said. “Visiting North Dakota truly is legendary, I am pleased to declare North Dakota Travel and Tourism Week to honor the outstanding contributions the industry has made statewide, and look forward to welcoming millions of new and returning visitors each year to North Dakota.”

“North Dakota’s travel industry has traditionally been a strong and stable player in our state’s economy,” North Dakota Tourism Division Director Sara Otte Coleman said. “Travel spending impacts all 53 counties because of the variety of opportunities there are to enjoy here. From the Badlands and our state parks, to historic sites and urban amenities, there are enticing reasons to travel in and around every corner of North Dakota.”

Beyond its economic benefits, research shows that vacationing breaks the cycle of stress in our daily lives that can help us gain perspective on our problems.

“Travel is a valuable part of our daily lives, whether we are on an excursion for business or for leisure,” Otte Coleman said. “Both the tangible and intangible benefits can impact our health, our emotional well-being, our connections to family and colleagues, our knowledge base, and our bottom line.”

Fast Facts about North Dakota’s Tourism Industry:

  • Travel and tourism is a $5 billion industry in North Dakota. (NDSU)  
  • 24 million people visited North Dakota in 2013, a 22 percent increase from 2011. (IHS)
  • North Dakota travel generated $307 million in taxes, or the equivalent of $1,011 per household. (IHS)
  • Visitor spending totaled $3.6 billion in 2013, a 19 percent increase from 2011. The majority of expenditures, 55 percent, came from visitors from other U.S. states. International travelers made up 10 percent of the total, and in-state residents traveling to other parts of North Dakota accounted for 44 percent of spending. (IHS)
  • In 2014, every $1 invested in tourism advertising for North Dakota resulted in $94 in visitor spending. (Longwoods)
  • Canadian travelers are a top target for North Dakota Tourism. Canadians spent more than $266 million here in 2012, which was a 9.7 percent increase over 2011. (Statistics Canada)
  • The top five U.S. states requesting visitor information are Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.
  • The top six overseas markets requesting visitor information are UK, Germany, Italy, Australia/New Zealand, Nordic region and France.
  • Tourism is North Dakota’s fifth-largest employer supporting 26,600 jobs. (IHS)
  • Approximately $787 million in wages and salaries are generated through North Dakota tourism. (IHS)


The Impact of Vacationing on the Workplace

Source: Project: Time Off, U.S. Travel Association (research conducted by Oxford Economics)

  • Unused leave costs the U.S. economy $160 billion in spending that could support 1.2 million jobs in multiple industries, ranging from retail to manufacturing to transportation.
  • U.S. companies carried forward $65.6 billion in accrued PTO costs in just the last year and if Americans took just one more day of vacation, it would amount to a $73 billion boon to the U.S. economy.
  • When employees don’t use their PTO, research shows it affects their happiness, health, and performance and productivity at work, all of which can undermine company success.


Travel has Lasting Benefits for Families

Source: Project: Time Off, U.S. Travel Association (research conducted by Harris Interactive)

  • Roughly nine in 10 of the kids polled report that some of their best memories are from family vacations.
  • Multi-generational travel is on the rise. The majority who have taken a family vacation in the last five years report that at least one such trip included extended family.
  • More than 90 percent of the kids polled agree that they spend quality time with their parents on vacation.

Get connected to great information about vacationing in North Dakota by becoming a fan of Travel North Dakota at or following North Dakota Tourism on Twitter at

To see a calendar of events and learn about all there is to experience in North Dakota, request a copy of the North Dakota Travel Guide by calling 800-435-5663 or view the digital Travel Guide at