Latest News Banner

New Research Allows Montana Tourism Leaders to Focus on Innovation

Monday, February 13, 2017/Categories: Market MT, Tourism

HELENA, Mont. – For the first time in a decade, the Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has commissioned research to provide actionable data about how to market the state and entice travelers to add Montana to their must-visit list.

“Montana tourism leaders are in a position to innovate in ways they haven’t in a decade,” Montana Department of Commerce Interim Director Doug Mitchell said. “We’re establishing new community partnerships, making data-driven decisions, and are constantly doing business better. These advances will continue to grow Montana’s multibillion-dollar tourism industry, boosting jobs and strengthening our economy.”

The new research from Destination Analysts Inc. shows potential visitors see Montana as a place for free-spirited adventure away from urban traffic and amusement-park lines. It confirms that Montana’s one-of-a-kind scenic beauty and wide open spaces will draw visitors who know what the state has to offer. The research also shows visitors who are looking for these kinds of adventures don’t fully understand what makes Big Sky Country unique.

“It’s a privilege to wake up each day in Montana and be a short drive from world-class skiing, fishing and hiking,” said Tourism Advisory Council Chairman Bill McGladdery. “This research will help us to focus our story and audience, bringing to life that Montana is accessible, family-friendly, and ready for adventure.”


  • Destination Analysts surveyed more than 6,200 travelers regional and national population centers and Canada. The survey also included interviews and focus groups with travelers and tourism leaders.
  • Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said Montana is appealing as a leisure destination.
  • Still, less than a third of respondents were familiar with Montana’s attractions.
  • Survey respondents most associate Montana with mountains, fishing, hiking and National Parks.
  • More than 40 percent of respondents say Montana’s attractions are exciting.
  • Among six (Alberta, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming) western destinations, respondents rank Montana second behind Colorado for its scenic beauty, potential for a road trip, family-friendly environment, winter recreation, and top place to visit.
  • Montana as a destination is highly competitive among western states.

Click here to explore the new research.


301 S. PARK AVE. | PO BOX 200501 | HELENA, MT 59620-0501 | P: 406.841.2700 | F: 406.841.2701 | TDD: 406.841.2702

We use cookies. We want to make our website more user-friendly and continuously improve it. If you continue to use the website, you agree to the use of cookies.