An update for members of Montana's tourism industry

Tourism among top Montana exports for 2013

The Montana Department of Commerce recently released the 2013 export summary and tourism can be rated among the top exports for last year.

The University of Montana's Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research estimates tourism accounted for nearly
$440 million of our foreign visitors' spending in 2013.

Tourism is one of only three service exports identified in the recently published
Main Street Montana Project business plan.

Read our full press release and see the infographic comparing foreign tourism spending to the state's top commodity exports last year

Higher prices aren't scaring away summer travelers

(From Americans are welcoming summer vacation this year with open arms after a rough winter.

Summer travel costs are up this year, according to Orbitz, with airfare up 6% and hotel prices up by 12% across the reports’ top destinations.

But travelers say they are willing to spend more this year to vacation, with 51% saying they’d shell out $2,000 or more for their vacation this summer, versus 44% last year.

Read the full article from FOX

(From This past Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the leisure travel season, is an early indication that 2014 will see a strong summer season.

At Best Western's annual Travel Summit this month, details from the annual report from AAA Travel Services estimated 36.1 million travelers over the holiday weekend, an increase of 1.5 percent from 2013.

According to the article, the economic picture continues on its slow and steady path towards improvement, with gains in nearly all fundamental areas.

Automobile travel was projected to increase 1.2 percent from 2013 with 31.8 million travelers expected to hit the road. The share of people traveling by car was expected to fall slightly to 88.1 percent but air travel was projected to be up 2.4 percent this year, as 2.6 million travelers were expected to fly over the holiday weekend.

This increase marks the third consecutive year of traveler growth for Memorial Day and the 2014 forecast is 2.6 percent higher than the 35.2 million average seen during the previous ten

Read the full article from

The "bigger" tourism picture:

ESTO 2014: See You in Louisville!

Every year at ESTO, destination marketing professionals learn cutting-edge best practices, network with colleagues and increase their competitiveness. Register today to join them in Louisville, KY, August 24-26, and see why this one-of-a-kind event is on track to set record attendance in 2014.
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