FROM THE EDITORS DESK: Tourism in oil countryThe oil and gas industry is impacting everything associated with the communities and counties in western North Dakota.
By: Alan Van Ormer, Prairie Business Magazine
The oil and gas industry is impacting everything associated with the communities and counties in western North Dakota. You can now add the tourism industry as another entity that is being impacted by the oil and gas development, according to a group of speakers during the annual North Dakota Department of Tourism Conference in Bismarck in late April. In a morning-long session on the last day of the three-day conference, different speakers provided a view of what is happening in the region and how it is impacting the tourism industry.
Just as important, what is happening in western North Dakota doesn’t seem to be slowing down visitors. Statistics are showing that tourists are continuing to flock to the state; including to the western part of the state. Since the “Legendary” brand started 10 years ago, the industry has grown by $927 million, according to research by North Dakota State University in Fargo.
During the April tourism conference, Terry Steinwand of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said that from 1999 to 2009, the state led the nation in increased hunting licenses and was fourth in increased fishing licenses. Hunting and fishing has become a $500 million industry, according to the 2009 statistics.
Steinwand says the animal population is being impacted by the oil and gas development, but also notes that the industry is working to minimize those impacts. For example, just moving a well over a hill where bighorn sheep can’t see it has an impact because the animal doesn’t notice it is even there.
In a nutshell, the speakers point out that oil and tourism can work together. With more people coming into the Bakken that also means more visitors for attractions not only in North Dakota, but also in bordering states.
Tags: monthly featuresMore from around the web