This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.

Simplified: The Sioux Metro Growth Alliance is teaming up with Southeast South Dakota Tourism to promote the region and encourage both tourism and, ultimately, more economic development. Here's what you need to know.

Why it matters

  • Tourism encourages the "halo effect" in the region, said Kasi Haberman, executive director for Southeast South Dakota Tourism (SESD). That means when people come to a community for a visit, it's often the first step in them seeing potential in that community as a future place to live or start a business.
  • Because of that halo effect, it's a natural extension for Haberman's work at SESD to partner with the economic development work of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance (SMGA).
  • The timing of the partnership also comes as SESD is undergoing a rebrand and renewed efforts to get the word out about travel and recreation opportunities in the southeast part of the state. As that's happening, SMGA's member communities have an opportunity to shine, as well.
"Tourism supports 55,000 jobs in the state," Haberman said. "It's a very important industry, and so we work to support those businesses and showcase SMGA's work."

Tell me more about SESD

Southeast South Dakota Tourism is one of four regional destination marketing organizations in the state.

  • The organization partners with the Department of Tourism to promote members.
  • SESD also puts out regional recreation guides, contributes to the state recreation guide and creates an annual map of the region to showcase what Southeast South Dakota has to offer in a more compact format.

What does the partnership look like?

SMGA will be the main sponsor of the regional map from SESD.

  • That means communities who work with SMGA will get a heightened presence on the map.

The two groups are also partnering on some ad space in the state and regional recreation guides, but the relationship goes deeper than that.

  • Haberman sees the partnership as a way to connect with regional communities and help explain how tourism can promote economic development.
"This is a win-win for the Sioux Metro," said Jesse Fonkert, president and CEO of SMGA. "Our communities have so much to offer both tourists and prospective businesses, and we recognize that often one begets the other."

What happens next?

SESD is going through a significant rebrand, as well as redesigning its publications and website.

  • There's been a lot of momentum created since Haberman stepped into the director role in the last year, she said.
"We've already welcomed over 20 new members," she said. "It's just an exciting time for us here in the southeast region."