During your vacation this summer, and yes you will be traveling somewhere, keep a mental log of the people you meet and how they treated you. I'd be curious to find out that after you leave our scenic state that the attractions automatically make the top three in your list. Then I would hope that how you were treated was also in that top three.

If you walk into any business today, three months from now or maybe it was last fall, you more than likely will say that this is a friendly community with great customer service. We take great pride in the way we treat our neighbors. It's one of the main reasons you and many others keep coming back. Not just because of the great pheasant hunting or fishing for tasty walleye. Or because you can travel the wide-open prairies without traffic snarls to find made-from-scratch food.

As we are humble here in South Dakota there should be some recognition for those who go above and beyond to maintain that high standard. That's why Governor Kristi Noem has introduced the Great Face & Great Place Hospitality Programs which are recognition programs for tourism industry employees and businesses.

What person goes the extra mile for their customers and community? What business shines, makes the people who walk through their doors feel welcome and offers any help when asked. And who continually promotes South Dakota?

According to the Governor's press release, the launch of these two new programs is just the latest effort by the South Dakota Department of Tourism to strengthen the tourism industry in our great state.

When you leave here take with you a memory of great customer service and how welcomed you felt. Share it with your friends and point them in our direction. And when you come back, we'll remember you.

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