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Survey: Most Montanans think tourism is overcrowding the state


More than half of Montana residents — more than ever before — believe the state is becoming overcrowded, according to survey results published this month by a University of Montana research group.

UM’s Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research says survey data from November and December 2021 show that most Montanans agree that tourism is good for the economy and believe that the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Institute For Tourism And Recreation Research

But Jeremy Sage, the group’s interim director, says that for the first time in the last 20 years, the majority of residents are starting to think that the state is becoming overcrowded with tourists.

"Generally, people have always felt that, you know, if tourism increases, that quality of life for Montana residents will improve," Sage said. "And that's changed a bit in the last two years."

Sage says an increase in new residents is also frustrating long-term Montanans.

The Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research has been tracking the views of Montanans about tourism for about two decades.

Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio

Kristine de Leon