ExpertFlyer Uncovers Burgeoning Tourist Mecca in North Dakota Borne from the State’s Oil Boom

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Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman Says Tourism Spending Up More Than 16 Percent in 2014 – Extended Families of Transplanted Workers and Single Ladies Like what North Dakota Offers

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Sara Otte Coleman

While many of our major attractions, like the Theodore Roosevelt National Park continue to offer scenic and serene hiking and wildlife viewing, amenities offered statewide have increased

Over the past decade, North Dakota has experienced tremendous growth largely due to the recent oil boom. So much growth, in fact, that a 2013 census report showed the state’s population at an all-time high of more than 723,000, making it the fastest growing state in America. But the population isn’t the only statistic growing in record numbers. Tourism spending was up approximately 16 percent in 2014 and more than 115 new hotels have been built since 2010 to accommodate the state’s growing tourism industry. ExpertFlyer recently sat down with Sara Otte Coleman, Director of Tourism, to discuss how tourism has changed and some of the new attractions visitors can enjoy during their trip.

“While many of our major attractions, like the Theodore Roosevelt National Park continue to offer scenic and serene hiking and wildlife viewing, amenities offered statewide have increased,” explains Ms. Coleman. “The small gateway community of Medora, for example, now offers fine dining, lodging and a spa and cities, like Fargo and Bismarck, offer a huge variety of shopping, food, drink, live entertainment and recreational activities.”

Coleman also notes that not only are extended families of transplanted workers coming to visit their sons, brothers and grandsons, many single ladies are heading to the state in the name of love. According to a recent story in the Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota remains one of 10 states where males outnumber females, a trend that has persisted since 2002 and was amplified by the male-dominated oil boom.

The state has made significant investments in new attractions and events including a $58 million expansion of the State Museum at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, including three galleries showcasing the state’s history dating back more than 600 million years when dinosaurs roamed the area. Other museum expansions include the Fargo Air Museum and High Plains Cultural Center in Killdeer. Keplinfest, which is held in the beautiful Turtle Mountains near the International Peace Garden along the Canadian border, celebrates the fiddle music and jigging of the Metis culture.

“North Dakota is a great example of how changes in a state’s economic growth can impact other industries, including travel and tourism,” said Chris Lopinto, president and co-founder of ExpertFlyer. “The state’s tourism industry has done a wonderful job maintaining pace with the growing interest in tourism by investing in the expansion of hotels, restaurants, museums, and its national parks.”

To read the entire interview with Sara Otte Coleman, please visit ExpertFlyer's blog.

Follow North Dakota Tourism on Facebook at or on Twitter at and get tips on what to see and do all year long.

Each month, ExpertFlyer's One-on-One blog goes face-to-face with the travel industry's leading decision makers to discuss and address topics relevant to many of today's business and frequent travelers. was conceived and created by an eclectic team consisting of a veteran elite tier frequent flyer, an airline captain and corporate travel manager, and information technology professionals to deliver a 24/7 real time powerful air travel information service. The company provides its subscribers and corporate travel managers alike with a complete, concise and efficient way to access the ever-changing details of worldwide air travel information. For more information, please visit

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