Nonresident Travel Spending Contributes to South 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 $1.01 billion spent by nonresident travelers in the south central part of the state, $717 million of economic activity and 9,680 jobs are directly supported in Yellowstone Country Travel Region. An additional $404 million of economic activity and 3,730 jobs are indirectly supported. $281 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $129 million indirectly supported by traveler spending.

Carbon, Gallatin, Park, and Stillwater Counties, each located within Yellowstone Country, also each were included in the analysis. A total of $49 million of economic activity in Carbon County was directly supported by the $73 million spent in the county, with an additional $18 million supported indirectly. Spending in the county directly supported 740 jobs and nearly $18 million in labor income, with an additional 180 jobs and more than $4 million in labor income being indirectly supported.

Nonresidents spent $667 million in Gallatin County, thereby directly supporting more than $477 million of economic activity, 6,490 jobs and more than $194 million in labor income. Indirectly supported were an additional $272 million of economic activity, 2,490 jobs and $91 million in labor income.

In Park County, $142 million of economic activity was directly supported by $203 million of nonresident traveler spending. This spending contributed to 2,060 jobs and the associated $53 million in labor income in the county. Indirectly supported in Park County were an additional $53 million of economic activity, 580 jobs and more than $15 million in labor income.

Nonresident visitors to Stillwater County spent more than $52 million, which directly supported nearly $30 million of economic activity, 370 jobs and $11 million in labor income. Indirectly supported were an additional $7 million of economic activity, 70 jobs and almost $2 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.