A new study by the University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Economic Research shows that non-resident travel supported jobs in every business sector in Montana.

Preliminary 2012 estimates show a 5.7 percent increase from 2011 in travel-generated employment to exceed 41,000 jobs for Montana residents. The nonresident travel industry in Montana comprises 6.2 percent of the state’s total employment, making it the fifth largest employer, following just behind construction, which contributes 6.4 percent of total employment.

Institute Director Norma Nickerson says these numbers show that the large dollar amount of $3.2 billion dropped in our state by nonresident visitors supplies many jobs beyond the typical travel job of hotels, restaurants, airlines and gas stations. In fact, Nickerson says 17 percent of Montana’s workforce has personal income that is partially or entirely due to travelers visiting our state. These are Montanan’s working in positions such as finance, construction, agriculture, information technology and more.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, tourist spending in Montana equals to $3,192 for every person living in the state. This ranks Montana sixth in the nation for per capita spending by traveler.

Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research Director Norma Nickerson