South Dakota leads the nation in road trip activity

The Mount Rushmore State's tourism industry reports momentum in early 2022.

Mount Rushmore
According to Arrivalist, a leading mobile geolocation company, South Dakota is currently pacing 18% ahead of 2019 in road-trip activity.
Image: Courtesy of Travel South Dakota
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PIERRE, S.D. • South Dakota leads the nation in tourism recovery, according to Arrivalist, a leading mobile geolocation company.

The company said South Dakota is currently pacing 18% ahead of 2019 in road-trip activity.

Arrivalist research also showed that the Mount Rushmore State was the only state in the nation to show double digit increases (11% increase) in overnight stays compared to the same time frame in 2019.

arrivalist US Daily Travel Index 2.jpg
This map shows year-over-year change in road trip activity based on destination state for the time period of January-Feb. 14. The Daily Travel Index is updated daily.
Image: Courtesy of Arrivalist

“Kicking off 2022 with these incredible numbers is simply outstanding,” Jim Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, said in a statement. “Data shows that travelers have an interest in exploring rural America as they seek outdoor experiences with road trips and visits to national and state parks. South Dakota offers all of this and more in spades.

“These numbers clearly demonstrate that our targeted marketing is resonating, inspiring road trips to our state.”


Cree Lawson, founder & CEO of Arrivalist, said the company built the Daily Travel Index at the beginning of the pandemic as a free tourism industry tool to help clients chart a path to recovery.

"It's really exciting to see South Dakota emerge as one of the first states to not only return to pre-pandemic levels but exceed them by a wide margin,” Lawson said.

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