Montana continues to diversify its tourism economy and many rural communities are seeing tourism as an emerging industry and an important part of their future economic landscape. As Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks continue to drive first-time visitors to Montana, many visitors say they plan to return to the state to explore more of what Montana has to offer. This is good news for our rural communities.

Montana’s tourism industry supports nearly 60,000 jobs and pumps $3.7 billion each year into our Main Street businesses.  The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development at the Department of Commerce works across regions and industries to market Montana to maximize non-resident spending in every sector.

In fiscal year 2018, Montana’s Tourism Grant Program invested $750,000 into tourism- and recreation-related projects in 27 communities across Montana, including many in rural parts of the state. Grants supported $1.8 million of investments into projects aimed at strengthening the visitor experience and helping communities tap into the tourism economy.

Montana State Parks had 2.5 million visits in 2017. With Montana’s National Parks operating at or above capacity, the opportunity to move visitors to state-parks and other public lands is an important one.

  • 12.4 Million- Visitors came to Montana in 2018
  • 2017- Highest visitation year on record at 12.5 million
  • $3.7 Billion- Amount that non-resident visitors added to the State’s economy in 2018
  • 59,330- Montana jobs supported


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