Montana’s ordinarily booming tourism economy was considered by many economists to be our saving grace from the coronavirus economic shutdown. The industry brings in 3.7 billion dollars each year (for comparison, agriculture brings in 2.4 billion each year). With the latest medical consensus indicating that coronavirus infections are actually worsened by lockdowns rather than helped by them, and with Montana faring better than almost any other state, one would think that state officials would be eager to take in the spring and summer influx of tourism cash. But despite desperately needing the money, the Montana Department of Commerce is asking customers not to visit the state.
Today, the Washington Times called the coronavirus panic “the biggest political hoax in history.” Montana has 449 positive coronavirus cases, 352 recovered, and only 14 deaths. The Big Sky State is, largely, unaffected. But even among areas where tourists would surely be traveling from, the death-rate hovers around .1 to .6%.
Nonetheless, the Montana Office of Tourism is telling tourists and their cash to stay away (watch below).
The video, entitled, “Montana is Worth the Wait,” encourages tourists to keep out.
Tara Rice, the Montana Department of Commerce Director, says, “Now is not the time to welcome visitors back to Montana, but when the time is right we want visitors to keep us in mind. There’s no better way to inspire future visitors than by showing off all Montana has to offer.”
Montana’s many hotels, resorts, and service industry professionals would strongly disagree. There are more than 80 thousand new unemployment claims in Montana, many of them in tourism-serving industries.
The video and warning against spending money in Montana was done at the behest of Governor Bullock, who right now is busy raising campaign cash with California’s Kamala Harris and coordinating a way to spend the federal government’s stimulus bailouts.