Nonresident Travel Spending Contributes to SW 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 $399 million spent by nonresident travelers in the southwestern part of the state, $263 million of economic activity and 3,280 jobs are directly supported in the southwest Montana travel region. An additional $141 million of economic activity and 1,300 jobs are indirectly supported. A total of $112 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $47 million indirectly supported by traveler spending.

Beaverhead, Lewis and Clark, Madison and Silver Bow Counties, each located within southwest Montana travel region, also each were included in the analysis. Nearly $45 million of economic activity in Beaverhead County directly was supported by the $86 million spent in the county, with an additional $14 million supported indirectly. Nearly 600 jobs and $14 million in labor income were directly supported by the spending in the county, with an additional 150 jobs and nearly $4 million in labor income being indirectly supported.

Nonresidents spent $98 million in Lewis and Clark County, thereby directly supporting nearly $69 million of economic activity, 1,040 jobs and more than $27 million in labor income. Indirectly supported were an additional $35 million of economic activity, 330 jobs and $12 million in labor income.

In Madison County, almost $39 million of economic activity was directly supported by $63 million of nonresident traveler spending. This spending contributed to 480 jobs and the associated $18 million in labor income in the county. Indirectly supported in Madison County were an additional $13 million of economic activity, 120 jobs and more than $3 million in labor income.

Nonresident visitors to Silver Bow County spent nearly $113, which directly supported $75 million of economic activity, 840 jobs and $32 in labor income. Indirectly supported were an additional $38 million of economic activity, 340 jobs and nearly $14 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/.

###

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