ND Tourism: state missed out on estimated $344M in tourism revenue, slowly bouncing back

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Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 3:25 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Numbers released in the North Dakota Tourism Division’s annual report revealed the state lost an estimated $344 million in tourism revenue since April 2020. Those with the tourism division said the loss is largely due to travel restrictions at the Canadian border.

Heather LeMoine, marketing and research manager for North Dakota Tourism, said Canadian tourists are key to the industry. They travel to North Dakota for business and pleasure, mostly for day trips or weekend getaways. She said the bounce-back has been slow, but projections suggest Canadian visitation will be fully recovered next year.

“I think a lot of that has to do with some of the inflation we see in the travel sector right now. But we know that North Dakota is a really affordable American destination and so we know we have that and just our wonderful, friendly hospitality going for us,” said LeMoine.

The United States upholds a vaccination requirement for entry, while Canada rescinded its requirement in Oct. last year. The Department of Homeland Security reported the policy will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The positive, LeMoine said, is the industry continues to see growth. In 2022, the department reported a 25% recovery from the pandemic, but in January 2023, recovery was at 66%. Group travel is also returning.

LeMoine said if you’re looking for a good vacation destination, you can’t go wrong with Theodore Roosevelt National Park.