Big Boost in Montana Tourism as State Returns to Pre-Pandemic Levels

    Photo by Austin Farrington on Unsplash

    There’s some good news for Montanans involved in the tourist industry: things are on the mend in a big way with a new economic report revealing that tourism spending has climbed back to its pre-pandemic levels, and is likely set to rise even higher as 12.5 million out-of-state visitors spent an estimated $5.15 billion in the state in 2021, a huge increase from the year before.

    In a report released by The University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, they detail the spending and expenditures of non-residents traveling to the state, explaining how the $5.15 billion supported $7.5 Billion dollars either directly or indirectly, with gas, restaurants, hotels, and outfitters and guides rounding up the top spending.

    It was a nice boost for the state, which has seen most visitors come from California, Washington, and North Dakota. Last year, around 11.3 million travelers visited and spent only 3.14 billion. These numbers are also a magnitude higher than US travel spending which is still in the negative, while Montana has been in the positive and growing since March 2021.

    While 2022 will likely not see a similar massive increase, all indications are that out-of-state spending will continue to grow and create jobs, as more and more visitors experience the beauty and unique culture of our state.


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