3 statewide tourism award winners were honored for their achievements, by the Montana Tourism and Recreation Industry, at the 2011 Montana Governors’ Conference on Tourism and Recreation, held in Helena. These awards are presented annually to individuals, events, partnerships and communities whose efforts to promote or develop Montana’s tourism opportunities have preserved or enhanced tourism's role in Montana’s economy.

Tourism and recreation is one of Montana’s largest industries and primary revenue drivers. Montana Department of Commerce Communications Director Marissa Kozel reveals the winners.

Kozel says annually over 10 million people visit Montana spending over $2 billion during their stay.