Tourism

Yellowstone National Park

A new study from Yellowstone National Park highlights what’s working well for visitors and what could be improved.

Sean MacEntee / Flickr

The latest in a series of federal grants could help Billings increase its number of flights and attract new airlines.

Visit Billings hosted the Travel Bloggers Exchange conference September 11 to 13.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

Correction: A previous version of this story stated out-of-state travelers spent $3 billion in Montana in 2018. Out of state travelers spent $3.7 billion last year.

A tourism agency in Billings is figuring out a new type of currency: One made of clicks, likes and shares.

Richard Parks' shows one of the fishing flies in Park's Fly Shop in Gardiner, MT, May 16, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Tourism is the economic lifeblood for many gateway communities around Yellowstone National Park. In Gardiner, Montana, a second-generation fly shop is gearing up for its busiest season.

National parks tourism pumped nearly $36 billion into the U.S. economy last year, and communities just outside the parks benefited the most. That’s where more than 330 million visitors dropped more than $18-billion-dollars and supported 255 thousand jobs.

Montana’s budget to entice tourists to the state is about to take a multimillion dollar hit. Next week, budget reductions triggered by lower than expected state revenue will make Montana less competitive, officials say.

Last year, tourists spent about $3.5 billion in Montana, according to the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation.

Motorists rejoice! Glacier National Park opened the full 50 miles of its iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road Wednesday.

After weeks of plowing, installing guard rails and removing rock debris, park officials have deemed the road safe for vehicular traffic.

Affordable housing is becoming increasingly hard to find in Whitefish, as second homeowners, mostly from out of state, scoop up real estate and landlords turn their usual long-term rentals into vacation rentals. For people working the low-wage service industry jobs that sustain the area’s tourism economy, there aren’t a lot of options.

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.

A company proposing to develop a new campground just outside Glacier National Park’s western entrance is facing opposition from the park, some local residents and agencies.

The company Glacier Park, Inc, plans to build a campground with 25 rental cabins and 102 recreational vehicle spaces near the village of West Glacier. GPI says it will also build a new water and sewer system for the development.

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