MTPR

tourism

2016 non-resident expenditure allocation by category.
UM Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research

Montana’s tourism industry saw more people last year, but fewer dollars.

That’s according to the latest update released today by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana.

In 2016 about 12.5 million out of state visitors came to Montana, that’s up 3 percent over 2015.

Bill Would Require Online Travel Companies To Pay Full Bed Tax

Mar 28, 2017
Sen. Dick Barrett, D-Missoula, says during testimony Monday that his bill would clarify the intent of past legislation to include online travel companies in the state’s bed tax.
Freddy Monares

A bill in the Montana Senate would reverse a 2015 Montana Supreme Court decision that allowed online travel companies, like Expedia and hotels.com, to avoid a part of the state’s bed tax.

While a fly-fishing tour-operator might know the best place to catch the big fish, they may get a little lost in the complexities of digital marketing. That’s where a new software company based out of Missoula aims to provide guidance, helping tour-operators and guides find new clients they need to grow their businesses.

Glacier National Park entrance sign.
Flickr user photommo (CC-BY-ND)

President Donald Trump Thursday proposed a 12 percent cut to the Interior Department's 2018 budget. And national park advocates like Phil Francis are not happy about it:

Bill to Promote Indian Country Tourism Advances

Feb 23, 2017

Tourism opportunities can be better promoted in Indian country, said Senator Lea Whitford of Cut Bank.  Her Senate Bill 309 seeks to make sure Native voices are included on the Tourism Advisory Council and there’s money to help promote Indian Country because there is more to see than teepees and powwows.

Whitford said there’s also casinos, campgrounds, trails, fishing, heritage centers, museums, and art galleries.  


2016 Another Record Year For Bozeman Airport

Jan 12, 2017

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport set another record for passengers last year. And this year has the potential to be another banner year.

The Bozeman airport saw more than an 8.4 % spike in the number of travelers in and out of Bozeman in 2016, the airport’s seventh consecutive year of record breaking passenger traffic.

Brian Sprenger, Airport Director, Gallatin Airport Authority, said there are several factors for the growth.

A view from the Many Glacier webcam on Oct. 11, 2016 shows snow piling up in Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park

Summer is officially over, at least in Glacier National Park. The Going to the Sun Road closed today for the season. Nearly two feet of snow now covers several popular areas in the park, says spokesperson Tim Rains.

State Wildlife officials today re-opened portions of the Yellowstone River and most of its tributaries, but it kept a popular stretch of the waterway closed to all recreational activity because of a parasite that’s killed thousands of fish.

The closure has been in place since August 19.

Man fishing in the Yellowstone River.
Flickr user: Mirrur Image (CC-BY-NC)

Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order this morning announcing an invasive species emergency in Montana.

Wildlife officials closed 180 miles of the Yellowstone River just over a week ago after discovering a non-native parasite killing thousands of mountain whitefish and native trout.

Visitor Misbehavior Abounds As National Park Service Turns 100

Aug 29, 2016
In the spring of 2016 a Canadian tourist in Yellowtone put a bison calf in his SUV hoping to save it. Less spectacular but equally dangerous and rule-breaking behavior at the parks is on the rise, according to law enforcement officials.
Courtesy

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Tourist John Gleason crept through the grass, four small children close behind, inching toward a bull elk with antlers like small trees at the edge of a meadow in Yellowstone National Park.

"They're going to give me a heart attack," said Gleason's mother-in-law, Barbara Henry, as the group came within about a dozen yards of the massive animal.

Montana labor officials will offer advice on job retraining for fishing guides, raft operators and other workers affected by the closure of a 183-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River.
Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Montana labor officials will offer advice on job retraining for fishing guides, raft operators and other workers affected by the closure of a 183-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River.

Governor Steve Bullock announced today that the Department of Labor and Industry will host a meeting in Livingston on Monday.

About 400 people came to a hall at the Park County Fairgrounds in Livingston to learn more about the Yellowstone River fish kill
Eric Whitney

About 400 people turned out at the Park County Fairgrounds in Livingston last night to get the latest on the Yellowstone River fish kill from Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department. 

FWP staff told the crowd that there’s still a lot they don’t know about how widespread the parasite is that’s killing mostly mountain whitefish in the Yellowstone River and its tributaries, but they’re working hard and expect to know more soon.

The recent fish kill in the Yellowstone River is painting a picture of Montana in national headlines that’s a little different than what the state’s office of tourism advertises in promotional videos.
(PD)

Audio Pending...

The recent fish kill in the Yellowstone River is painting a picture of Montana in national headlines that’s a little different than what the state’s office of tourism advertises in this promotional video.

"Where the mountains thrust skyward and giant pyramids of granite and the rivers run as free and clear as your spirit. A place where you can hear the sound of silence."

After thousands of fish deaths forced an unprecedented closure of 180 miles of the Yellowstone River last week, an official with Montana's Office of Tourism says the state’s branding as a place of pristine landscape is still strong.

Yellowstone River, MT
Wormwould (CC-BY-NC-2)

A microscopic parasite killing tens of thousands of fish forced state wildlife officials to close a portion of the Yellowstone River Friday morning.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks closed about 180 miles of the Yellowstone River downstream from Yellowstone National Park without a timeline for reopening. The closure could last months.

Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park
GlacierNPS

Glacier National Park has never been more popular. Visitation numbers peaked in July, when more than 800,000 people came.

A mix of phenomenally good weather, a strong marketing campaign for the centennial year of the National Park Service and Glacier’s eye-catching presence on social media fueled the record-breaking numbers of tourists.

Park regulations require people stay at least 25 yards from all wildlife including bison, elk and deer and at least 100 yards from wolves and bears. Disregarding those simple rules can lead to to fines, serious injury or death.
Shutterstock

A Yellowstone National Park bison calf that tourists put in their car last week is now dead. Park officials are warning visitors to follow local wildlife and park safety regulations. They say too many people aren’t, and it’s causing big problems.

Quammen: Yellowstone At Risk Of Being Loved To Death

Apr 27, 2016
Yellowstone National Park. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River from Artist Point.
© Michael Nichols/National Geographic

The May issue of National Geographic Magazine is devoted to Yellowstone National Park: America’s Wild Idea. Bozeman-based writer David Quammen - who wrote the entire issue - talks Yellowstone history, and why the park is at risk of being loved to death.

A $50,000 investment of state tourism money is being rolled out today. It’s a map-based website that highlights and guides people to more than 200 trails across Montana. The site is called hikewildmontana.org.

Tourists Taking Photos at Sacred Dancing Cascades in Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park/Jacob W. Frank (PD)

Last year’s tourism numbers were up almost 8 percent over 2014. Almost 12 million out-of-state travelers visited Montana in 2015, but those tourists didn’t spend as much money as they have in previous years.

Yellowstone Sees Record Number Of Visits In 2015

Jan 12, 2016
Tourists fill the bleachers at Old Faithful waiting for the geyser to erupt.
YellowstoneNPS (CC-BY-2.0)

Yellowstone National Park had a record breaking number of visitors last year.  The park counted over 4 million visitors in 2015, placing new strains on the park’s capacity. With the unprecedented crowd also came long lines, a dearth of parking options and other visitor frustrations.

The project near Whitefish Mountain Resort is designed to reduce fire danger and protect the City of Whitefish's watershed.
By Donnie Clapp for Whitefish Mountain Resort

The decline of the Canadian dollar can be seen in the empty rooms in hotels and lodges on the U.S. side of the border, in Whitefish.

Some accommodation businesses in the area are struggling to fill rooms while visitation at Whitefish festivals this fall and winter was down about 20 percent.

Fire forced the closure of Going-to-the-Sun Road from St. Mary to Big Bend this summer.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new study predicts climate change could threaten some 11,000 Montana jobs and almost $300 million in outdoor labor earnings by 2050.

Montana Bill Would Make Hunting And Fishing A Constitutional Right
PD

A prominent Montana fishing guide says climate change is already impacting his business, and that statewide, tens of millions of fishing tourism dollars are at stake.

Two Medicine Lake and Sinopah Mountain.
David Restivo, NPS (PD)

Glacier National Park is moving into its autumn schedule and preparing for winter as Park visitation is slowly declining into the fall.

Sunday was the last day cars could access Logan Pass from the east side of the park.

Montana Tourism Grants Announced, More Money Available

Sep 25, 2015
The first round of recipients for the 2016 funds includes a $100,000  building expansion for the Missoula Carousel.
Natemford (CC-BY-SA-3)

Governor Steve Bullock and the Montana Department of Commerce announced the first round of tourism grants under a new program it launched on July 1.

A crew working in the Bob Marshall Wilderness rebuilds a main line trail that was damaged during a fire this summer.
Corin Cates-Carney

Hunting and fishing licenses generate about $48 million a year in Montana, and 70 percent of that revenue comes from people from out of state. But this year some of those hunters and fishers had to cancel their trips because of the intense fire season. And that makes it tough on the businesses that serve them.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Flickr user terkel110 (CC-BY-2.0)

Yellowstone National Park marked a record 3 million visits in the first eight months of 2015. With four months left in the calendar year, the park is on track to have one of its highest visitation years on record.

Tourists at the Apgar Visitor Center
GlacierNPS (CC-BY-2)

Fire managers in Glacier National Park say the fire burning there neither grew yesterday, nor did the amount of fire line constructed around it. The fire remains estimated at just under 4,000 acres in size and 67 percent contained.

Visitor center attendant Hugh Austin stands behind the information desk at the old Belton Train Station in West Glacier. The visitor center is staffed 1-5pm, 7 days a week, and will provide Glacier visitors information on activities around the Flathead.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new visitor information center in West Glacier opened Tuesday to show Glacier National Park visitors what else Montana has to offer.

The Whitefish, Bigfork and Columbia Falls Chambers of Commerce will join forces to share expenses and staff the center this summer.

Whitefish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kevin Gartland says the Chambers' goal is to turn additional information about the Flathead Valley into a boost in the local economy.

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