Researchers now know more about the buying habits of tourists to Montana.  Assistant Director of Economic Analysis at The UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, Kara Grau says they began asking non residents in January 2015, about their retail purchases of “Made in Montana” goods and services.

"People are definitely interested in making purchases of things they can't get else ware," says Grau. "If they're here on vacation they want to be able to take a little piece of Montana with them and they want to have that as a memory and they also really enjoy the things that we have here."

Sixteen percent of Montana’s visitors reported spending money on local products and services during the first three quarters of 2015. Grau says there are certain products that are being purchased more frequently.

"Food products, like the huckleberry items, baked goods, locally made candies, those were the ones that were reported most often, but the beer and the liquor were the second most frequently purchased "Made in Montana" items that showed up on our list," says Grau.

Visitors who reported buying local goods and services spent an average $296 a day, while those who did not make local purchases averaged about $112 a day.