UM Research: Travelers Contribute $3.9 Billion to Montana Economy in 2014

July 29, 2015

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 in each of the six travel regions in Montana, as well as 17 of the state’s 56 counties.

Estimates showed nearly 11 million visitors spent approximately $3.9 billion in Montana in 2014, which directly supported $3.15 billion of economic activity and more than 38,000 Montana jobs. The analysis also showed tourists indirectly supported an additional $1.9 billion of economic activity and more than 15,000 jobs. Overall, travel directly delivered more than $1 billion in labor income to the state – and $557 million indirectly.

In northwest Montana’s Glacier Country, travelers spent $1.2 billion in 2014, supporting 12,400 jobs and $945 million of economic activity. Tourist spending supported an additional $627 million of economic activity and 5,200 jobs in the region. The research showed $320 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $177 million indirectly supported by travelers in Glacier Country.

Flathead, Glacier, Lincoln and Missoula counties were included in the analysis. Research showed $489 million of Flathead County’s economic activity was directly supported by the $668 million spent in the county, with an additional $319 million supported indirectly. The tourist dollars contributed to 6,800 jobs and more than $179 million in labor income, with an additional 2,700 jobs and $93 million in labor income indirectly supported in Flathead County.

In Glacier County, more than $62 million of economic activity was directly supported by $85 million of nonresident spending, contributing to 960 jobs and $26 million in labor income. An additional $17 million of economic activity, 150 jobs and $5 million in labor income were indirectly supported by travelers’ spending.

Spending by nonresidents in Lincoln County totaled $90 million, contributing to $40 million of economic activity, 620 jobs and $15 million in associated earnings. Tourists in Lincoln County also indirectly supported $19 million of economic activity, 160 jobs and $4 million in labor income.

Travelers spent $285 million in Missoula County, supporting $229 million of economic activity, 2,800 jobs and $76 million in labor income. The tourism dollars indirectly supported $160 million in economic activity, 1,300 jobs and more than $48 million in labor income in Missoula County.

In central Montana, travelers spent $452 million in 2014, supporting 4,200 jobs and $349 million of economic activity. Tourist spending supported an additional $178 million of economic activity and 1,400 jobs in the region. The research showed nearly $104 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $50 million indirectly supported by travelers.

Central Montana’s Cascade and Toole counties were included in the analysis. Research showed $194 million of Cascade County’s economic activity was directly supported by the $264 million spent in the county, with an additional $115 million supported indirectly. The tourist dollars contributed to 2,550 jobs and more than $64 million in labor income, with an additional 940 jobs and $35 million in labor income indirectly supported in Cascade County.

In Toole County, more than $35 million of economic activity was directly supported by $75 million of nonresident spending, contributing to 460 jobs and $14 million in labor income. An additional $10 million of economic activity, 90 jobs and nearly $3 million in labor income were indirectly supported by travelers’ spending.

In northeast Montana’s Missouri River Country, travelers spent $140 million in 2014, supporting 950 jobs and $68 million of economic activity. Tourist spending supported an additional $28 million of economic activity and 230 jobs in the region. The research showed $29 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $7 million indirectly supported by travelers in Missouri River Country.

Richland County also was included in the analysis. Research showed $39 million of Richland County’s economic activity was directly supported by the $81 million spent in the county, with an additional $15 million supported indirectly. The tourist dollars contributed to 500 jobs and more than $18 million in labor income, with an additional 110 jobs and nearly $5 million in labor income indirectly supported in Richland County.

In southeast Montana, travelers spent $605 million in 2014, supporting 4,900 jobs and $472 million of economic activity. Tourist spending supported an additional $251 million of economic activity and 1,900 jobs in the region. The research showed $132 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $77 million indirectly supported by travelers in the southeastern part of the state.

Custer, Dawson, and Yellowstone counties were included in the analysis. Research showed more than $51 million of Custer County’s economic activity was directly supported by the $109 million spent in the county, with an additional $24 million supported indirectly. The tourist dollars contributed to 740 jobs and more than $19 million in labor income, with an additional 230 jobs and nearly $8 million in labor income indirectly supported in Custer County.

In Dawson County, more than $20 million of economic activity was directly supported by more than $45 million of nonresident spending, contributing to 270 jobs and nearly $7 million in labor income. An additional $8 million of economic activity, 70 jobs and more than $2 million in labor income were indirectly supported by travelers’ spending.

Spending by nonresidents in Yellowstone County totaled more than $397 million, contributing to $301 million of economic activity, 3,500 jobs and $92 million in associated earnings. Tourists in Yellowstone County also indirectly supported $172 million of economic activity, 1,380 jobs and $56 million in labor income.

In southwest Montana, travelers spent $390 million in 2014, supporting 3,300 jobs and $315 million of economic activity. Tourist spending supported an additional $191 million of economic activity and 1,400 jobs in the region. The research showed $103 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $71 million indirectly supported by travelers in the southwestern part of the state.

Beaverhead, Lewis and Clark, Madison and Silver Bow counties were included in the analysis. Research showed more than $31 million of Beaverhead County’s economic activity was directly supported by the $67 million spent in the county, with an additional $13 million supported indirectly. The tourist dollars contributed to nearly 500 jobs and $11 million in labor income, with an additional 100 jobs and $3 million in labor income indirectly supported in Beaverhead County.

In Lewis and Clark County, more than $93 million of economic activity was directly supported by more than $117 million of nonresident spending, contributing to 1,400 jobs and more than $32 million in labor income. An additional $59 million of economic activity, 550 jobs and $18 million in labor income were indirectly supported by travelers’ spending.

Spending by nonresidents in Madison County totaled $59 million, contributing to more than $34 million of economic activity, 460 jobs and $16 million in associated earnings. Tourists in Madison County also indirectly supported $13 million of economic activity, 110 jobs and nearly $3 million in labor income.

Travelers spent more than $109 million in Silver Bow County, supporting nearly $63 million of economic activity, 830 jobs and nearly $27 million in labor income. The tourism dollars indirectly supported $34 million in economic activity, 290 jobs and nearly $11 million in labor income in Silver Bow County.

In south-central Montana’s Yellowstone Country, travelers spent $970 million in 2014, supporting 9,690 jobs and $779 million of economic activity. Tourist spending supported an additional $476 million of economic activity and 3,830 jobs in the region. The research showed $261 million in labor income is directly attributable to nonresident spending, supplemented by an additional $130 million indirectly supported by travelers in Yellowstone Country.

Carbon, Gallatin and Park counties were included in the analysis. Research showed nearly $38 million of Carbon County’s economic activity was directly supported by the $62 million spent in the county, with an additional $15 million supported indirectly. The tourist dollars contributed to 640 jobs and nearly $14 million in labor income, with an additional 130 jobs and nearly $3 million in labor income indirectly supported in Carbon County.

In Gallatin County, more than $527 million of economic activity was directly supported by more than $662 million of nonresident spending, contributing to 6,740 jobs and nearly $184 million in labor income. An additional $347 million of economic activity, 2,830 jobs and $95 million in labor income were indirectly supported by travelers’ spending.

Spending by nonresidents in Park County totaled $196 million, contributing to $124 million of economic activity, 1,970 jobs and $49 million in associated earnings. Tourists in Park County also indirectly supported $46 million of economic activity, 440 jobs and nearly $12 million in labor income.

The full report, including estimates of the economic contribution of nonresident travelers in the other five Montana travel regions and additional county-level estimates, is available on the ITRR website at http://scholarworks.umt.edu/itrr_pubs/315/

Contact: Norma Nickerson, director, UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, 406-243-2328, norma.nickerson@umontana.edu; Kara Grau, assistant director of economic analysis, ITRR, 406-243-5107, kara.grau@umontana.edu.