Posted: Apr 16, 2013 8:15 PM by Brin Merkley - MTN News
MISSOULA - A new study from the University of Montana shows that more people are visiting the Treasure State, spending more than in any previous year.
The University of Montana's Institute for Tourism & Recreation conducted the study, which show that non-residents spent a total of $3.27 billion in 2012, up 15% from 2011.
The numbers also show that the money spent by these travelers supported nearly 30,000 Montana jobs.
UM economic researcher Cara Grau says in terms of statewide visitation, Montana has regained the ground it lost during the recession.
Grau explained, "Our state is one of those states that people put on their 'bucket list,' and so they want to come here and see everything - the parks, all the rivers, the wildlife. They get really excited about a trip so we kind of feel that people may have come to Montana during the recession where they may have canceled other sorts of trips."
Grau says surveyors collect information year-round in an effort to produce accurate and up to date information of how travel impacts Montana.