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Abstract

This report evaluates tourism potential in North Dakota with special emphasis on southwest North Dakota. A survey of 808 Fargo residents in the summer of 1998 revealed strongest likes, dislikes, and their potential new interests while on vacation. Favorite pastimes while on vacation include (in rank order): viewing natural scenery, boating and other water sports, reading and relaxing, taking an ocean cruise, camping, spending time at unique shops, family activities, seeing historic sites, and viewing a sports event. Activities respondents had not done while on vacation but would like to try include (in rank order): cruising the ocean, ballooning, ranch/cowboy experience, parachuting, cross country skiing, canoeing, horseback riding, paleontology, hiking, and mountain biking. Other characteristics of the respondents are listed along with their advice to North Dakotans interested in increasing tourism. Numerous other studies relating to tourism are analyzed, including the likes and dislikes of the international visitor. Tourism is the fastest growing industry in America, but currently North Dakota is the least traveled state in the nation. This report encourages communities and businesses in southwest ND to work together in attracting more visitors. Activities, structural enhancements, communication through technology, workforce training, collaboration amongst communities, and co-op advertising, are all discussed.

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