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Montana sees rise in tourists, but they’re getting thriftier

Sarah Gianelli

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MISSOULA (AP) – A new report says more tourists came to Montana in 2016 than the year before, but they spent less money.

The University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research’s report says 12.35 million people visited the state last year. That’s a 5 percent increase from 2015.

Those tourists spent $3.46 billion, which is 5 percent less than 2015 visitors.

Forty-six percent of the tourists came to the state between July and September. The stayed just over four nights, on average.

They mostly spent their money on gas, food, lodging, licenses and entrance fees.

The Missoulian reports tourist spending directly contributes nearly $2.9 billion to the state’s economy and supports more than 41,000 jobs in Montana.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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