A new study says visitors spent $3.24 billion in Montana last year, representing about a 2.5 percent increase over 2016 spending.

The report made public this month by the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research says more than 60 percent was spent in areas around Glacier and Yellowstone National Park.

Visitors spent $660 million in Gallatin County north of Yellowstone and $531 million in Flathead County outside Glacier. Visitors spent $50 million or more in 13 of the state’s 56 counties.

The top spending items included gas, food and drink, lodging, guides and retail sales.

The tourism institute’s director, Norma Nickerson, tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that the tourism industry has been stable and hasn’t been subject to the boom-and-bust cycles of other industries.

 

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Photo Credit: Glacier National Park in Montana, shown here. A new study says visitors spent $3.24 billion in Montana last year, representing about a 2. 5 percent increase over 2016 spending. Montana Tourism