The idea of having fewer people visit but spend more of their money probably appeals to a lot of Montanans.

But tourism is the name of the game in our state, and some pretty good dollars and cents news was released today by the University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research.

Their study shows that although the number of nonresident visitors to Montana remained nearly flat in 2017, traveler spending increased. In 2017, approximately 12.2 million nonresidents visited Montana and spent more than $3 billion. Despite very little change in the number of individual travelers, those who did visit stayed longer and spent more. The net result is an 8 percent increase in total spending over 2016.

So, we think that's good news, right? You'd never want to create the impression that Montana is getting too expensive to visit, the way word gets around so fast. But we'll keep looking at the glass being half full on that count.

Welcome visitors! Stay long and (help us) prosper!

DB