As a tourism destination, Yankton has a lot to offer and there is more coming online all the time.
But having those kinds of attractions is one thing; making sure plenty of people know about it is something else.
The Yankton City Commission was reminded of that Monday night when it heard a review from Kasi Haberman, director of the Yankton Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). She emphasized the importance of the CVB’s promotional work and the benefits it creates.
The latter was illustrated with a South Dakota Department of Tourism report noting that every dollar invested in tourism resulted in a $51 generation of tourism spending and a $3 boost in tax revenue. That makes tourism a tremendous investment.
Indeed, tourism investment is vitally important to Yankton’s economy and it must continue to be a local priority.
That’s important now more than ever, as Yankton has a lot of new tourism potential on the horizon.
“This is a very exciting time here in Yankton with the new attractions that will soon be added to our tourism arsenal,” she told the commission. Those new additions include the Huether Family Aquatics Center, Mount Marty College’s Ruth Donohoe First Dakota Fieldhouse and recently announced football program, the Crane-Youngworth Field renovation, world and national archery tournaments coming to the NFAA complex, the construction of new hotel/motel space and more.
These things can be added to the strong lure of the lake area — whose numbers always seem to be on the rise — as well as the opening of the Mead Cultural Education Center.
But none of this can reach its potential without the aggressive promotion and outreach provided by the CVB, which is charged with, essentially, getting the word out about what this area has to offer.
Contrary to what some wistfully proclaim, there is no real advantage to being a “best kept secret.” In fact, Yankton’s attractions should be no secret at all, especially to people who would find these offerings enticing enough to visit and enjoy — and particularly if this community wants to reap the rewards these attractions offer.
The CVB’s mission is to get the word out.
“I think it’s very important that we identify the role of the CVB in marketing these new attractions,” Haberman said.
To that end, the CVB director was also speaking to the City Commission Monday about its place in the city’s budgeting process.
“There must also be a conversation about where that additional funding (to promote new attractions) might come from and how those dollars will be managed,” Haberman said.
This is definitely an important conversation to have. Again, keep in mind the return in investment mentioned earlier and its importance to Yankton.
The CVB’s role in Yankton’s economic health is vital, and funding its role in some capacity is essential. The better the CVB cam do its job, the better off the Yankton area will be. That’s a crucial bottom line to remember.