Here we are at the end of the traditional summer travel season. For some, travel was limited due to COVID-19, for many the camper and recreation gear was used a lot, and for most tourism and hospitality businesses, this year has been more than challenging. There is, however, good news for North Dakota.

Our many outdoor activities and expansive geography allows us to invite visitors to follow their curiosity not the crowds; yet this fall in what is being called the stretch season, there is opportunity to take those unused vacation days and support our small businesses. You can help the kids learn remotely while discovering the history, culture, industries, geography and sciences found across our diverse state. And if you don’t feel safe traveling just yet – you can get inspired and plan a future North Dakota trip.

We are excited to be a part of a national campaign to encourage Americans to take the first step and make plans to travel. We all need something to look forward to and nothing is more exciting than planning the next getaway. The "Let’s Go There" campaign will help rebuild the travel industry and reignite a sense of wanderlust and inspire Americans to look ahead to their next adventure.

Tourism is a leading industry in North Dakota and it is more important now than ever that visitors know we have safe travel options available throughout North Dakota now – or when it’s time, we’ll be ready. For ideas and inspiration check out

Otte Coleman is director of tourism and marketing with the North Dakota Department of Commerce.