Out of state travelers boosted Montana’s economy by over $3 billion in 2019, according to the latest figures released by the Institute for Tourism and Research at the University of Montana.

Assistant Director of Economic Analysis, Kara Grau provided the numbers on Thursday.

“Overall, we had about 12.6 million visitors,” began Grau. “They came in groups totaling about 5.7 million travel groups, and while they were here those travel groups were spending an average of about $150 per day, and overall that totals to about $3.6 billion that they spent in Montana.”

Grau said when that kind of money is spent in the state, the overall economic impact is profound.

“There is a very nice economic impact,” she said. “The direct economic activity was about $3.04 billion and they directly supported a little over 40,000 jobs related to tourism and travel in the state, and there are the benefits of employee compensation from that non-resident travel, proprietor income, and it just sort of trickles through the Montana economy.”

An additional $602 million of labor income is indirectly supported by nonresident travel spending. These travelers contributed more than $222 million in state and local taxes in 2019.

Grau said the numbers released by the Institute for Tourism and Research are valued by a wide variety of sources.

“From people in the Department of Commerce, down to small business owners or people who haven’t even opened a business yet but are thinking about doing that in terms of making marketing decisions, like where they want to market and what they want to focus on in their marketing.”

Grau said these numbers are important to every facet of the Montana business and tourism community.

The complete report can be found here.