North Dakota Tourism Brings in Billions

Billions of tourism dollars flow into state coffers each year.

As North Dakota’s third largest industry, tourism can mean big business for local attractions.

Peak season’s here in North Dakota.

One tourism expert says gearing up for guests means preparing to show them all the state has to offer.

“That’s the fun part about working with the tourists they come here and they’re so surprised by what they find in North Dakota, and they love it,” Beth Campbell, State Historical Society says.

When touring the state some have only one thing on their minds.

“Seeing dinosaur bones,” Maddox Schmidt, Minnesota visitor says.

For others, we’re just a stop along the way.

“You’re number four actually,” Brian and Tamra Stoebe, California visitors say.

Since the 2014 Heritage Center expansion, the number of visitors seen each year has more than doubled resulting in 23,000 guests this May.

“North Dakota tourism really has worked to make us a force to be reckoned with,” Campbell says.

Tourism brought in more than $3 billion dollars to North Dakota in 2015 alone,
and people all across the world came to destinations like this one, Five Nations Art in Mandan.

But money isn’t the only thing to be gained from visitors.

Visitors at Five Nations Art don’t just want to buy Native goods they want to hear stories that inspire them.

“They want to learn everything about Native culture,” Holly Doll, Five Nations Art says.
“They come in here and they want to learn traditions and what’s acceptable and what’s not and how to be more respectful towards [Native Americans].”

And whether they’ve come from thousands of miles away or are just passing through, Doll says she hopes everyone will drop in.

“Everyone’s welcome,” Doll says.

With the hope visitors will leave with a little more knowledge and some good memories.

“How’s your visit been so far? Ah, it’s been excellent,” Brian and Tamra Stoebe say.

Tourism employs more than 42,000 people statewide.

North Dakota saw nearly 22 million visitors in 2015.

Most of our visitors came from Minnesota, Florida and Illinois.


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