Montana Tourism Awards

Governor's Conference Logo

April 15–17, 2018

Big Sky Resort | Big Sky
50 Big Sky Resort Rd.
(800) 548-4486

Montana Tourism Awards

The Montana Tourism Awards celebrate the outstanding work of the communities, businesses, organizations and people who strengthen Montana's tourism industry and thereby contribute to maximizing its economic impact for Montana residents.

2018 Finalists

Click here to see the 2018 finalists.

Previous Winners

Click here to see a list of winners from 1989–2017.


Nominations were open to the public from JAN. 8–FEB. 2.

The judges chose 3–5 finalists and one winner per category.

Winners will be announced at the Montana Tourism Awards banquet at the Governor's Conference on Tourism and Recreation. The banquet will be 7–9 p.m., April 16, at Big Sky Resort in Big Sky.


Judges include one representative from the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, plus six marketing and/or tourism experts from around the state (one from each of Montana's six tourism regions). Judges were excluded from evaluating any nominations from their own region.

  • CENTRAL MONTANA - Kristen Inbody
  • GLACIER COUNTRY - Sheena Pate
  • SOUTHWEST MONTANA - Victor Bjornberg


  • Nominees must support Montana's tourism industry by developing, promoting or providing tourism-related products or services, including but not limited to accommodations, activities, attractions, destinations and events
  • You may nominate yourself or your business/organization
  • You may submit multiple nominations, either for different categories or for the same category; however, you may submit only one nomination form per nominee
  • Previous nominees and winners may be nominated again

See the categories below for additional eligibility requirements.


Marketing Campaign of the Year

Awarded for an outstanding tourism-related marketing campaign (including any combination of paid, owned or earned media) executed within the past calendar year. Judges may evaluate the following criteria:

  • Innovative strategy, tactics or execution
  • Quality of creative assets (use the form below to upload examples)
  • Analytics highlighting key performance indicators or return on investment
  • Enhancement of Montana’s image at the regional, national or global scales

Event of the Year

Recognizes the potential for outstanding special events to drive visitation and economic impact to Montana and its communities. Events may be annual or one-time but must have occurred within the past calendar year. Judges may evaluate the following criteria:

  • Attendance and economic impact data, especially compared to previous years (if applicable)
  • Quality of promotions
  • Investment of public/private resources (financial or in-kind)
  • Additions or improvements from previous years (if applicable)
  • Enhancement of Montana’s image at the regional, national or global scales

Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award

Recognizes institutions, individuals or organizations for contributions to the promotion and celebration of Montana’s unique history and cultural heritage as an important attraction for visitors and Montana residents alike. This award could recognize specific attractions (museums, historical societies, libraries, events) or individuals for extraordinary accomplishment in promoting our heritage and cultural amenities.

Film Friendly Community

This special award recognizes the positive economic impacts of film and media production and its potential to influence visitation to Montana. It is awarded to a community that's welcoming to production and actively engages to support it.

Due to the specific nature of this award, the staff of the Montana Film Office will select the nominees, finalists, and winner.

Community of the Year

Acknowledges communities exemplifying the second Montana Brand pillar of "vibrant and charming small towns that serve as gateways to our natural wonders." Judges may evaluate the following criteria:

  • Use of partnerships to strengthen tourism
  • Incorporation of the Montana Brand into partnerships
  • Contribution to the regional and state tourism economy
  • Investment of public/private resources (financial or in-kind)
  • Enhancement of Montana’s image at the regional, national or global scales

Tourism Ambassador

Presented for a history of dedication and significant positive contributions to tourism at the community, regional or statewide scales. Judges may evaluate the following criteria:

  • Employment of creative and innovative approaches to their work
  • Education of others to the Montana Brand, the economic impact of Montana's tourism industry or resources available to strengthen tourism
  • Enhancement of Montana’s image at the regional, national or global scales

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