Tribal Tourism Montana

Are you going on vacation to Montana? Click here to access the official Visit Montana website!


Tribal Tourism Digital Business Development Grant

Thank you for your interest in the Tribal Tourism Digital Business Development Grant. The 2021 application cycle is closed. Please check the Office of Indian Country Economic Development website for other funding opportunities.

If you've already received the grant, click here to submit a request for payment/reimbursement via Submittable.

This website is a resource for the development and promotion of the Indian Tourism Region in Montana, established by Senate Bill 309 of the 65th Montana Legislature in 2017.

The Indian Tourism Region includes all reservations in Montana as well as other locations significant to tribes with a modern or historical connection to Montana.

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Tribal Tourism Funding

Senate Bill 309 allocates 0.5 percent of Montana’s Lodging Facility Use Tax collections to develop and promote the Indian Tourism Region. Promotions include paid media (advertising), earned media (hosting journalists and photographers to visit Indian Country and produce editorial content), and owned media (VisitMT.com).

Additionally, the Montana Department of Commerce funds a full-time Tribal Tourism Officer and various programs for which tribal governments and tribal tourism may be eligible to apply (see TRIBAL TOURISM RESOURCES tab).

The Economic Impact of Tourism

Tourism is one of Montana’s leading industries. According to estimates by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana, 12.6 million visitors added $3.8 billion to the state’s economy in 2019. And the impact isn’t only limited to hotels and car rentals — it includes businesses of all kinds, such as artisan entrepreneurs. (Did you know nonresident visitors spent an estimated $80.8 million on Made in Montana products last year?)

According to research commissioned by Commerce, 82 percent of leisure travelers expressed an interest in exploring sites and experiences related to native American culture and history.

Tribal Tourism Montana Strategic Plan, FY20-21

Financial & Technical Assistance

  • Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation – The premier event for Montana’s tourism and recreation industry. Please note there is a fee to attend.
  • Native American Made in Montana – For producers of products for sale, Native American Made in Montana is a free program in which members receive the ability to use a branded label and a website listing. Members may be eligible to apply for a sponsorship to exhibit at the annual Made in Montana Tradeshow for Food and Gifts.
  • Tourism Grant Program – Available to tribal governments, this reimbursement grant program helps tourism-related projects such as arts, culture and heritage preservation, visitor facility upgrades and construction, and niche product development.

Consumer Marketing

  • Indian Country Guidebook – Developed by the Office of Indian Country Economic Development at the Montana Department of Commerce in association with the tribes in Montana. Limited quantities of hard copies have been distributed across the state, while a digital download is available at VisitMT.com.
  • Indian Country at VisitMT.com – The state’s official travel website receives 2 million visitors per year.
    • Click here for instructions to claim your VisitMT.com business listing.
  • Joint Venture Marketing Program – Opportunities to share the cost of marketing with the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.
  • WebDAM – The state’s digital asset management system includes free partner access to photography available to promote tourism.

Research

Additional Resources

In addition to the Indian Tourism Region, Montana is organized into six geographic tourism regions, each of which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting its area — including Indian Country. By working together, tribal communities and tourism regions may maximize their impact.

The following tourism regions include reservations: