MISSOULA – The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana estimates 10.9 million nonresident travelers spent $3.9 billion in Montana in 2014. The visitors directly supported more than 38,000 Montana jobs and indirectly supported an additional $1.9 billion of economic activity and 15,000 more jobs, according to the study.
While the number of individual travelers was down 1 percent in 2014, the number of visitor groups to Montana increased 1 percent from 2013, indicating a slightly smaller visitor group size, according to Kara Grau, ITRR assistant director of economic analysis.
Five million visitors, or 46 percent, spent time in Montana during the third quarter of 2014, July through September. Those travelers spent more than $1.9 billion total, accounting for 40 percent of 2014’s traveler spending. Travel groups spent an average $163.20 per day during those summer months.
During the first and second quarters of 2014, traveler groups spent an average $163.77 and $152.93 per day respectively and totaled $441 million and $915 million. Fourth quarter spending averaged $142.25 per day, totaling nearly $595 million.
One third of the 10.9 million travelers to Montana reported they were in the state primarily for vacation and another 16 percent were visiting friends or relatives. Visitors in Montana for business accounted for 14 percent of travelers, while 29 percent of travelers were passing through the state primarily for the purpose of reaching another destination. Three percent of travelers said they came to Montana to shop.
For more information about the 2014 nonresident visitation and spending estimates, visit http://scholarworks.umt.edu/itrr_pubs/313/. All information and reports published by ITRR are available online at http://www.itrr.umt.edu.