An analysis recently completed at the University of Montana highlights the economic contribution of nonresident travel spending to each of the six travel regions in Montana. Assistant Director of Economic Analysis Kara Grau with the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research said the analysis also highlights 18 of the state’s 56 counties:

"We did a study again this year. We looked at how much money is being spent by nonresident travelers in Montana," Grau said. "Specifically, we looked at how that shakes out among the six travel regions in the state as well as 18 of the 56 counties in Montana. We were able to do an individual study for those counties as well."

Grau said again this year, the most visitors spending occurs around Yellowstone.

"That park is the biggest draw in the state most of the time," Grau said. "We do collect this data year round and we have been doing so since July of 2009. But the regions right around Glacier National Park are always pretty close behind. Certain travel regions have had quite a jump. Overall, the trend is definitely an upward one across the board."

Grau said Missoula County brought in $162 million of economic activity that was supported by $235 million spending by nonresident travelers, people that Grau said are people from outside Montana.