Monday, December 8, 2014 / by Jason Schaefer
According to Executive Director of Destination Missoula - tourists spent $280 million in Missoula County last year, with $258 million being spent within the city limits. This spending supported 3,200 jobs, while contributing $22 million to taxes.
Barb Neilan, executive director, was the featured speaker at the Missoula Businesswoman's Network this week held at the Double Tree hotel. She explained that nonresident travel and tourism made up the second largest industry in the state. According to Neilan, 82% of new visitors return within the first two years, with most coming back on a regular basis.
Destination Missoula has grown from one employee with a budget of $130,000 to having 5 employees and a $900,000 annual budget. Much of the organization's work locals don't see. This is due to the fact they are working hard to attract people from Idaha, Atlanta, and Chicago to come to Montana. In addition, China and Canada are markets where they look to attract visitors.