Study shows growth in Montana tourism


Study shows growth in tourism

MISSOULA, Mont. - A study done by the University of Montana on tourism, shows that just over 11 million travelers came to the state during 2013, which is a 2.3 percent increase. They spent $3.6 billion.

Tourism is everywhere, even across the walls of Adventure Cycling.

"Last year we had about 1,200 visitors who cycled here from everywhere from Japan to across the nation, and that's a 150-percent increase over the last 5 or 6 years with the amount of visitors that we're having," said Executive Director of Adventure Cycling Jim Sayer.

There are pictures hanging on the wall from people who have visited, even some from Scotland and Sweden.

"It's had a huge benefit to our organization. We've become one of the largest nonprofits in Montana. We've tripled our budget, we've doubled our staff," said Sayer.

Tourism has helped boost other businesses like Grizzly Hackle, especially during the summertime.

"We book trips from people all around the world," said Grizzly Hackle's outfitting manager Rick Marcum.

Not to mention, increasing the numbers this year.

"With frontier bringing in flights here in June, I think that will be huge for all of us. we are really excited," said Marcum.

But Daryl Kaufmann's store, Yo Waffle is empty during the wintertime. Little wonder he counts on summer tourism.

"In the winter, it turns into ghost town around here and I'd love to see them do a little more winter marketing. We do at least four times the business in the summer than we do in the winter," said Kaufmann.

The University of Montana study broke down what brings tourists to Montana. 33 percent come for a vacation, 31 percent pass through on their way someplace else, and 12 percent are here for business. 

More Stories