A Hidden Gem No More! Is Tourism Ruining Montana?
Every year, tourism gives Montana's economy a huge boost. During the pandemic, many places in Montana reported record-breaking visitation numbers.
Montana relies heavily on the money that tourism brings to the state each year. There's no denying the economic impact that tourism has on the state. With places like Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park reporting record-breaking visitation numbers in recent years, is there any end in sight?
Personally, I've been accused of "ruining" Montana because I write about things and places in Montana that I enjoy. I doubt that the millions of people that visit Montana every year take time to read my articles. The fact is, Montana has been discovered. I get it, people don't like to see everything that they love getting destroyed in front of their eyes.
A lot of tourists travel through Bozeman due to the fact that there's a major airport close by. As a result, restaurants and other places that locals enjoy get really overcrowded. During the summer, you literally can't go out to breakfast in Bozeman without waiting in line. For locals, the overcrowding causes a lot of frustration and anger.
Most Montanans aren't business owners and don't benefit from the increasing number of tourists visiting the state. In recent data released by Montana Business Quarterly, 75% of Montanans agreed that the overall benefits of tourism outweigh the negative impacts. In the same study, 42% of Montanans agreed that the state is becoming overcrowded because of more tourists.
At one time, Montana wasn't even on the radar. Now, people from out of state are trying to buy all of the land that's available for sale. That's another downside of tourism. People visit Montana, fall in love, and end up moving here. In order to have a healthy tourism industry, the relationship between visitors and people that live in Montana needs to remain positive.
Is Montana doing a good job?