MISSOULA – Although the number of nonresident visitors to Montana remained nearly flat in 2017, traveler spending increased, according to preliminary estimates by the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research.

In 2017, approximately 12.2 million nonresidents visited Montana and spent more than $3 billion in the Treasure State, according to the report. The number of travelers visiting the state in 2017 remained nearly even with 2016. Despite very little change in the number of individual travelers, those who did travel to the state stayed longer on average and spent more. The net result is an 8 percent increase in total spending over 2016.

During 2017, visitor spending supported an estimated 38,700 jobs directly and more than 53,000 jobs in total. Nonresident spending within the state also supported $1 billion of labor income and indirectly supported $556 million of labor income. Nonresidents contributed more than $204 million in state and local taxes.

The ITRR will update these estimates with 2017 fourth quarter data and finalize the report in spring 2018. The preliminary report is online at: http://itrr.umt.edu/files/2017-prelim-nonres-estimate.pdf.

All information and reports published by ITRR are available online at http://www.itrr.umt.edu.