BHSU students research and present tourism plan to City of Hot Springs

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, December 28, 2015/Categories: 2015

Black Hills State University students in Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto's tourism planning and development course worked with the City of Hot Springs this semester to design a five-year strategic plan to improve tourism.

Black Hills State University students worked with the City of Hot Springs this semester to design a five-year strategic plan to improve tourism.

Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto's tourism planning and development students presented their plans and research results to representatives from Hot Springs including Cindy Donnel, mayor of Hot Springs, Nolan Schroeder, Hot Springs city administrator, members from the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Priscilla Romkema, dean of the College of Business and Natural Science, Dr. Barbara Looney assistant professor of management, and others.

Students involved in the project were:
  • Morgan Chavez, business administration major from Gillette, Wyo.
  • Christina DiJohn, business administration-tourism major from Belle Fourche
  • Jack Nelson, tourism and hospitality major from Omaha, Neb.
  • Bethanie Neuberger, business administration-tourism major from Watertown
  • Mallory Gordon, business administration-tourism major from Pierre
  • June Lallak, business administration-tourism major from Belle Fourche
  • Chihiro Oseki, business administration-tourism major from Nagaoka (Japan)
  • John Villa, business administration-tourism major from Belle Fourche
The students started their research during the summer by looking at the Hot Springs' city website, Trip Advisor reviews, performance of the visitors' center and also conducting a survey for visitors and how they felt about visiting the town. Based on the data, students developed a plan on how to make Hot Springs more attractive for visitors.

Students acknowledged many strengths for the city including the natural spring water, beautiful nature, the Mammoth site and the unique architecture of downtown.  The BHSU students recommended that the city of Hot Spring put additional focus on promoting the natural spring water, rather than creating new attractions for visitors.

In their plan students included suggestions to improve the city's organization and planning and extend the Visitor Center hours to allow more people   access information about the city. Another suggestion was to make the downtown district more attractive and vibrant for tourists.

Students suggested incorporating digital billboards to promote Hot Springs and researched apps for towns similar to Hot Springs. Suggestions also included incorporating hashtags and "photo op" sites throughout the city that people could share on their social media sites.

"We need to promote the town via hashtags. It's how a lot of people communicate. Also I was really surprised by the survey about billboards and how well people remember information from them. I respect the students' opinions and we need to look into it," said Mayor Donnel.

"I learned that communities are very complex, there are so many things that you have to look into it when you are working with the community. As much as we want to visitors to have a great experience in Hot Springs there is also a consideration of what community would want.  You have to find that perfect balance," said student Neuberger.

This is the fourth year students have developed a tourism proposal for a South Dakota community. Other projects were designed for Hill City, Redfield and Belle Fourche. Cahyanto plans to continue the project in fall 2016. Communities interested in working with the students should email Ignatius.Cahyanto@BHSU.edu.
Print

Number of views (256)/Comments (0)

x
script src="/Portals/_default/skins/bhsu18/js/bootstrap.min.js" type="text/javascript">