Out-of-State Visitors Spent $3.58 Billion in Montana in 2018

Glacier and Yellowstone national parks are the biggest draws

By Associated Press

MISSOULA – A new report says that while the number of out-of-state visitors to Montana fell slightly in 2018, their $3.58 billion in spending was a 10% increase over the previous year.

Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research says they’re seeing visitors spend more on experiences rather than on items to take home.

The institute previously estimated about 12.4 million people visited Montana in 2018, down 1% from 2017.

Institute director Norma Nickerson says Glacier and Yellowstone national parks are the biggest draws. The Yellowstone region saw a 20% increase in nonresident spending while the Glacier region saw a 12% increase.

Nonresidents spent an estimated $812 million on fuel, $674 million in restaurants and bars, $454 million on hotels, $396 million on outfitters and guides and $323 million at retailers.

Visitors spent a record $3.98 billion in Montana in 2014.