Nonresident Travel Spending Contributes to Central Montana Counties and Travel Regions

August 14, 2014

MISSOULA – An analysis recently completed by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana highlights the economic contribution of nonresident travel spending to each of the six travel regions in Montana, as well as 18 of the state’s 56 counties.

Estimates of the economic contribution of traveler spending at the statewide level showed that 11.02 million visitors spent approximately $3.62 billion in 2013, which directly supported $2.8 billion of economic activity and more than 33,000 Montana jobs.

Nonresident travelers indirectly support an additional $1.6 billion of economic activity and 14,600 jobs. Associated with those travel-related jobs is $979 million in labor income directly attributable to nonresident travel and another $525 million indirectly attributable to nonresident spending.

Focusing on the $402 million spent by nonresident travelers in the central part of the state, nearly $298 million of economic activity and 3,500 jobs are directly supported in central Montana travel region. An additional $136 million of economic activity and 1,190 jobs are indirectly supported. More than $94 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $45 million indirectly supported by traveler spending.

Cascade County and Toole County, located within central Montana, also each were included in the analysis. A total of $175 million of economic activity in Cascade County was directly supported by the $248 million spent in the county, with an additional $92 million supported indirectly. Nonresident spending in the county directly supported 2,240 jobs and more than $60 million in labor income, with an additional 810 jobs and $32 million in labor income being indirectly supported.

In Toole County, almost $39 million of economic activity was directly supported by $62 million of nonresident traveler spending. This spending contributed to 420 jobs and the associated $16 million in labor income in the county. Indirectly supported in Toole County were an additional $9 million of economic activity, 80 jobs and nearly $3 million in labor income.

The full report, including estimates of the economic contribution of nonresident traveler spending in the other five Montana travel regions, as well as additional county-level estimates, is available online at http://www.itrr.umt.edu/.

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Contact: Norma Nickerson, director, UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, 406-243-2328, norma.nickerson@umontana.edu.