Initiative to educate Montanans on tourism benefits

Members of Montana’s travel and tourism industry have launched a new initiative to help raise awareness about the economic impact the industry has across the state, in advance of the 2013 Montana Legislature.

Voices of Montana Tourism aims to promote statistics like this: According to the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, nonresident visitors spent $2.4 billion in the state in 2010. That’s a $157 return on every dollar spent advertising Montana as a travel destination during that same year.

Along with raising awareness of the economic benefits of tourism, Voices of Montana Tourism also wants to spread the word on the need for funding to market Montana as a tourist destination, said Mary Paoli, the public relations manager brought in to help run the initiative through the 2013 legislative session.

By JENNA CEDERBERG of the Missoulian

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Get Lost in Montana

MONTANA represents the untamed, the wild, the natural. Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks are starting points. Between the parks lie mountains that don’t have names yet, in ranges you’ve never heard of. Scattered in their valleys, you’ll find small towns full of friendly locals sharing the unexpected and even maybe their huckleberry pie. We invite you to explore the parks and all the places in between.

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