Economists break down how the pandemic impacted Montana tourism

Economists break down how the pandemic impacted Montana tourism

As travel picks back up again the University of Montana released new findings on the pandemic's impact on Montana's tourism industry. Last year Montana saw a 12% decrease in out of state visitors, but compared to states like California, who saw a 55% decrease, the Big Sky state faired pretty well. Our travelers are much more likely to be a drive market so 85 to 90 % of our visitors are more likely to come here in their personal vehicles and air traffic was hit really really hard and we are not as dependent on that as a state like California," Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research interim Director Jeremy Sage said. The study also shows visitors opted for campgrounds over hotel rooms this past year. "Our understanding and our reading on that is people were looking for those wide open spaces and switching their destinations last summer to somewhere they feel safer," Sage said. So folks flocked to rural destinations like Glacier or Yellowstone National Park. But this study shows tourists spent 16% less then they have in previous …
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