Nearly 12.4 million non-resident visitors to Montana contributed approximately $3.04 billion dollars to the state’s economy in 2016.

Economist for the UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, Jeremy Sage, released the numbers this week.

“We collect information from visitors coming into Montana and how they’re spending their money,” Sage said. “This most recent 2016 report shows that we had over 12 million visitors come into Montana, spending just over $3 billion dollars. A large portion of that comes from that summer quarter.”

Sage said the bulk of the visitors spending revolved around the national parks.

“Glacier Country and Glacier National Park and Yellowstone Country down around Yellowstone National Park are our two biggest attractions. They’re spending about $636 million on gas getting to and from Montana, around $606 million in restaurants and bars, and just a little over $400 million on hotels and motels. Retails sales account for $315 million and outfitters and guides account for $262 million.”

The full report, including estimates of the economic contribution of nonresident travelers in the other four Montana travel regions, along with county-level estimates, is available on the ITRR website