Governor Kristi Noem pours on more socialism to prop up South Dakota’s apparently weak industries, this time with handouts to help tourism businesses do some last-minute advertising to impulse travelers:
Gov. Kristi Noem announced the creation of a $200,000 grant program for tourism businesses Wednesday at Reptile Gardens in the Black Hills.
Noem cited industry data indicating 91% of this summer’s travelers already have their trips planned. She wants the grant money to help South Dakota businesses target the remaining 9% of travelers.
“We want to make sure those that have a change in plans or haven’t decided yet, that they decide to come and visit us,” Noem said.
…Department Secretary Jim Hagen said he hopes to have the new program ready for applications by early July.
The department wants to pad the marketing budgets of tour operators, tourist attractions, festivals, fairs, and convention and visitor bureaus, along with other related businesses and entities. Hagen said most grants will range from $500 to $10,000 [Seth Tupper, “New State Grant Program Aims to Lure Last-Minute Summer Tourists,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.05.10].
If those procrastinating tourists produce returns on advertising investment, you’d think tourism businesses would be able to bear the costs of that advertising all by themselves. If certain tourism businesses providing sufficiently attractive lodging and entertainment to support a decent advertising budget, should government really be intervening in the decision of the free market?
Perhaps applicants can boost their chances of winning the $10K grants by including pictures of Kristi riding her horse and shouting Freedom! in their proposed ads.