The work done to attract and host visitors helps diversify our economy and sustain and grow our communities. The travel and tourism industry both inspires visitors to choose North Dakota as their travel destination and helps to create the first impression for potential new residents, businesses, investors and more. With more than 22 million trips taken to North Dakota in 2015, 68 percent from nonresidents, we have a great story to tell.

Gov. Doug Burgum has proclaimed May 6-12 as Travel and Tourism Week in North Dakota. Celebrating 35 years, the theme of this year’s NTTW, “Travel Then and Now,” highlights the travel industry’s history of economic impact in every corner of America and behind this industry, there are engaging people with compelling stories. This week kicks off the ND Travel Matters series that showcases the people who make visitors’ trips to North Dakota memorable and illustrate why Travel Matters in North Dakota.

As you begin planning your spring and summer travel, include some new North Dakota experiences on your itinerary. There are State Park additions, unique lodging, vibrant community art and music venues, new breweries and wineries, and farm and ranch activities to be enjoyed statewide. With so many new restaurants, shops and hotels you are sure to find unique and affordable options. To get started, log on to NDtourism.com for trip ideas and inspiration.

We consistently hear from visitors that the people of North Dakota make their trip even more memorable- and for that I thank you! Thanks for welcoming our visitors and for delivery on our Legendary promise!

Otte Coleman is tourism division director for the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

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