Catch Jim Hagen
Jim Hagen has served as South Dakota’s Secretary of Tourism since 2011. Under his leadership, and in close partnership with the tourism industry, the state set new economic impact records nine years in a row, including all-time spending and visitation records Despite the challenges thrown at travel and tourism during the global COVID-19 pandemic, which saw average nationwide visitation and spending drop 45 percent or higher, Secretary Hagen and his team were able to guide the tourism industry in South Dakota to much stronger numbers. In 2020, visitor spending was down only 18%; visitation down only 13%. Jim was named the National State Tourism Director of the Year in 2014. In January 2021, Governor Kristi Noem honored him with the South Dakota tourism industry’s highest award, the Ben Black Elk Award, for exceptional lifetime achievement and contributions to tourism in the state.