Tourism Video Project Hits Yankton

Tory Nelson (blue shirt) and Dominic Miller of Brand USA shot a tourism video last week in Yankton featuring unique eastern South Dakota attractions including the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area, 6th Meridian Hops Farm and Meridian Plaza.

An international audience may soon be exposed to what tourism opportunities the Yankton area has to offer.

Brand USA, in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Tourism, was in town last week as part of the filming of a tourism video on unique destinations throughout eastern South Dakota.

Yankton Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director Kasi Haberman told the Press & Dakotan that Brand USA helps introduce American attractions to an international audience.

"Brand USA is the destination marketing organization for the United States and they market the United States internationally," Haberman said.

She said that this isn’t Brand USA’s first journey to South Dakota.

"Last year, they did a West River road trip … with several different attractions in West River like Crazy Horse, Deadwood and Custer State Park."

This year’s East River road trip video will include attractions in Brookings, Sioux Falls, Mitchell and Yankton.

Haberman said the group filmed at a number of locations throughout Yankton last Tuesday.

"We were out at the lake to capture some of the fun sailing opportunities, the camping, fishing and all of those sorts of things," she said. "We’re trying to filter in some of the more unique things about Yankton. We’re hoping to stitch in some video of the 6th Meridian Hops Farm and do a farm-to-table kind of thing with Ben’s Brewing Company. (We were) down at the Meridian Plaza capturing the Missouri River and the Meridian District. We have professional actors that are here that will be captured experiencing these different attractions."

One of those actors is Justin Biel, who told the Press & Dakotan that his time in South Dakota has been an eye-opening experience.

"It’s been really amazing," he said. "I’ve never been to South Dakota, so it was a great opportunity to see what the state is all about."

He had a lot of praise for the Yankton area as well.

"Yankton has been a really, really cool place," he said. "The resort on the water was absolutely beautiful and seeing this cool downtown area has been a blast."

Haberman was unsure of when the finished product would be released on the Brand USA website, but said this will serve as a chance to give international visitors new focuses throughout the state aside from the most well-known attractions.

"South Dakota’s marketed internationally as a whole, so a lot of the interest, typically, is West River," she said. "We know that we already bring international travelers to Yankton through the archery tournaments and things that we have here. We’re also told by the Department of Tourism there’s really a good amount of interest from international travelers when it comes to unique experiences, and we think that Yankton definitely has a lot of those unique experiences that those folks are looking for."

She added the project gives Yankton an opportunity to shine.

"We just want to make sure that Yankton is represented among the other partners across the state," she said. "We’re providing opportunities for awareness and hopefully bringing those visitors to Yankton as well."

Follow @RobNielsenPandD on Twitter.

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