BHSU hosts World Tourism Days, explores new trends in state, international travel

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, October 1, 2015/Categories: 2015








           Black Hills State University students visit with area businesses during the World Tourism Days Business &amp Tourism Expo.






           South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen spoke to a group of business leaders as well as Black Hills State University students, staff and faculty about the current trends in state tourism during World Tourism Days recently.



Black Hills State University celebrated World Tourism Days recently, hosting a variety of tourism-related events including a luncheon for tourism business leaders and a presentation by South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen.

More than 100 attended the World Tourism Days Business and Tourism Expo and luncheon on Sept. 23 at BHSU. Hagen discussed tourism trends in the state, upcoming marketing promotions for the state, offered information on the target tourism markets and how to reach travelers.

"The Black Hills can compete with anyone when it comes to tourism," Hagen said.

Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto, professor of tourism at BHSU, was pleased with the success of World Tourism Days. World Tourism Days is held on Sept. 27 each year this is the first time BHSU has held an event in conjunction with World Tourism Days and was the only celebration of the event in the state.

In addition to Hagen&rsquos discussion on state tourism, Florian Herrmann, CEO and founder of HMS Global, highlighted current trends of international visitors and offered tips on how South Dakota tourism companies can build relationships with those visitors.

BHSU students played a key role in planning and promoting the World Tourism Days celebration.  The students also had the opportunity to network with professionals in the tourism industry.

"Students learned a lot about the different facets of the tourism industry from talking with the businesses during the expo and listening to the speakers," Ignatius said. "It surely broadened their horizon, especially those who want to pursue careers in the industry."

Haley Torkelson, business administration-tourism major from Wanblee, discovered great opportunities at the business and tourism expo.

"The people I talked with shared their dedication and passion for the industry," Torkelson said. "It inspired me to get my foot in the door and learn everything I can about the industry and find a career I love doing."

While attending tourism days&rsquo events, Torkelson was able to network with potential employers and landed a job with Springhill Suites by Marriott. Torkelson will train in various positions with the company to see which career path she wants to choose.

"It meant so much to me, at 19 years old, to already be meeting with high ranked business professionals who were able to see great potential in me," she said. "I would have had no idea what I could accomplish if it had not been for the World Tourism Days events. After attending the expo, I do know this is the industry for me."

Other events held throughout the week included a World Tourism Days photo contest, a trip to the annual Buffalo Roundup in Custer, and a special Geek Speak lecture on unique tourism trends.

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