Montana’s travel industry is a vibrant industry full of committed, enthusiastic individuals with a passion for Montana. Exciting things are happening in our industry all the time and we want to showcase that which makes the travel and recreation industry such a viable and important facet of Montana’s economy and quality of life.

Travel and tourism in Montana is a multi-generational industry. It’s an industry chock full of small businesses, family-run establishments and hard-working Montanans, doing their best to share that which makes Montana such a wonderful place to work, play and raise our families. No matter the age, anyone can be Montana’s most avid ambassador. 

We knew that a multitude of organizations were promoting Montana as a vacation destination and that a lot of money was attached to those efforts: to the tune of $76 million, according to Montana’s 2007-2012 Tourism & Recreation Strategic Plan. The budget of the Montana Office of Tourism made up 12 percent of that. While tourism has been the state’s second-largest industry, it was apparent when this project began that MTOT’s marketing budget was continually losing ground not only in nationwide rankings, but among its chief competing states (states of the Rocky Mountain west). 

Travel and tourism is an increasingly competitive marketplace. Media has gotten more expensive and more diverse in its offerings. But the more we get to speak the same message, the more powerful our message will be. The brand process took an active role in unifying our state, local, private and tribal marketing partners to strengthen Montana’s image.

Agreeing on what that message should be was the hard part. It had to make Montana uniquely special from any other destination—not just in the United States, but across the globe. A great deal of research had been conducted and countless hours were spent collecting stakeholder input.

The goal was to produce a brand for Montana—one that speaks for Montana as a vacation destination. However, the elements of this brand can extend beyond tourism—and the lessons we are learning have the potential to serve a wide range of Montana industries.

We’re appreciative of the statewide community involvement we’ve received throughout this process: we believe we’ve created a brand that’s strong and true. While you’re here, you’re invited to learn more about this project and how you can help put the Montana brand to work.

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