Letter: Traveling is good for the body, mind and soul. – InForum

May marks the official start of the summer travel season and National Travel and Tourism Week is a great time to reflect on the importance of travel and tourism to our mental and physical health, our social well-being and our economy. Travel has the immeasurable ability to change our perspective, bring balance to our lives and open our eyes to new possibilities. Whether we take a trip to a nearby community festival or hiking trail or fly to another continent, traveling is good for the body, mind and soul.

Travel and tourism are also an important part of North Dakota's diversified economy. New research shows visitors spent more than $3.3 billion in our state in 2023, impacting all 53 counties. In fact, visitors to North Dakota spend $9 million per day. These dollars can support 3,000 businesses such as your favorite restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. Last year, we saw an increase of 1.3 million additional trips to North Dakota, for a total of 25.6 million visitors.

By creating more experiences that attract visitors, we also improve the quality of life for our residents and help retain the talent we need to keep our companies and organizations strong.

Our work as Commerce's tourism and marketing department elevates our image and recognition as a destination, impacting businesses and lives across North Dakota. As the summer season begins, we encourage everyone to get out and explore and greet all visitors who come to discover everything that makes North Dakota legendary.

Sara Otte Coleman is the tourism and marketing director for the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

Anna Harden

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