Published in the April 22, 2012 edition of the Missoulian
by Tristan Scott

Montana’s tourism industry continued to steadily rebound in 2011, as 10.5 million out-of-state visitors helped lift the industry back up to levels approaching a pre-recession peak.

And even as gas prices rise and travelers remain reluctant to unclasp their pocketbooks, industry forecasters are optimistic for the coming year.

Last week, researchers from the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation unveiled their findings in Great Falls, at the 2012 Montana Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation.

According to the report, nonresident visitation increased 1.6 percent over 2010 while out-of-state spending in Montana increased a full 10 percent, with travelers doling out $2.77 billion in the Treasure State. Gas and oil accounted for 34 percent of that spending, followed by retail at 20 percent, restaurants and bars at 19 percent, and hotels and lodging at 12 percent.

Read the full article on Missoulian.com.

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