Information for Montana's Tourism Industry

Montana Office of Tourism


The Montana Office of Tourism aggressively promotes Montana as a destination to the international travel trade, with emphasis on the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.  The program involves working with key tour operators, wholesalers, travel agencies and the media to establish new Montana itineraries for groups and Foreign Independent Travelers (FITs), while assisting Montana businesses in their marketing efforts overseas.   The marketing program includes use of the services of specialized travel representatives on a contractual basis in cooperation with the states of Wyoming, South Dakota and Idaho.

This is accomplished by representation at key international travel trade shows, familiarization tours, cooperative advertising ventures with other states in the region, brochure and DVD distribution and ongoing personal contact with targeted tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and media.

The program's goals are to increase awareness of Montana as a year-round vacation destination for international visitors, and to generate and distribute leads to the CVBs, regions and Montana suppliers for their follow-up purposes.

For recent trade show leads, please refer to the following links:

Access- Leads
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Sales & Training Seminars
Under the Rocky Mountain International (RMI) banner of “The Real America”, Montana continues to see tremendous success from collective marketing efforts.  In FY10 the states participated jointly in Missions/staff trainings in Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, France and the United Kingdom.  RMI overseas offices exhibited at several “Visit USA” consumer shows as well as International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin, and World Travel Market (WTM) in London. 

Plans for FY11 include a sales mission to Italy and the United Kingdom in October and to be represented by our overseas office at the World Travel Market in London in November.    A Scandinavian Mission is planned for January followed by one in Australia in February.    The year will wrap up with attendance at the International Tourism Bourse in Berlin in March.

Trade Shows
Visibility at the key international travel trade shows allows Montana to make contact with wholesalers, operators and media, and provides the opportunity to follow up on new and existing projects and ideas.  The Montana Office of Tourism delegates are sometimes joined by private-sector participants.   For information on attending these shows please contact Marlee Iverson; Travel Trade Manager at

In FY10 Montana sponsored and attended Go West Summit in Sacramento, CA in February.  Two business sessions were offered to meet with international tour and receptive operators.  The Summit included a post fam to Glacier Country and Whitefish with three participants that included tour operators and media.

In FY10 Montana was host the Rocky Mountain International Roundup held in Great Falls, April 14-16, 2010 of which 24 tour operator’s attended.   Two business sessions were offered at the Round-Up giving Montana and regional suppliers the opportunity to meet on an appointment basis with tour operators from our target European markets.  In addition, a pre and post fam was conducted highlighting Russell and Gold West tourism regions.

The Montana Office of Tourism along with Glacier Country attended International Pow Wow in Orlando, FL on May 15-19, 2010. 

FY11 Trade Shows
Go West Summit, Boise, ID February 7 – 10, 2011
Rocky Mountain International Roundup, South Dakota, February 13-15, 2011.
International Pow Wow, San Francisco, May 21-25, 2011

Pacific Rim
Montana Department of Commerce trade representatives in Kumamoto, Japan, and Taipei, Taiwan, market Montana’s travel-related products and services to the travel trade in their respective countries under close direction from MToT.  Their responsibilities include contact with wholesalers, tour operators, travel agents and media to create demand for Montana’s travel-related products and services.  This objective is achieved through distribution of travel materials, organization of familiarization trips, translation of Montana literature and websites in Japanese and Chinese, travel trade show participation and sales calls.

Overseas Marketing Workshop
International marketing seminars are generally held during the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism.  Watch for conference information.

Familiarization Tours
Familiarization (“fam”) tours for trade and media representatives, as well as training and sales missions, are also important components of the Rocky Mountain International Program as well as in our Pacific Rim markets.  With the assistance of Montana travel industry members, “fam” tours will be conducted to provide firsthand knowledge for prospective tour operators.  By experiencing Montana, operators can better understand the mechanics of designing new itineraries in the state.  “Fam” tours will also be held for carefully selected travel journalists, with the intended result of generating positive travel articles in foreign publications.

Montana will host the RMI Mega-fam in September 2011 with Idaho, and in September 2012 with South Dakota.  The fam will include participants from our target markets as well as USA based receptive tour operators.

Direct Mail Campaign
This specialized direct mail program will provide current tour planning material to tour operators, as well as follow-up to contacts initiated during trade shows.  This program also establishes and maintains a professional rapport with overseas groups and FIT travel planners.  In addition, selected international tour operators have received Montana calendars as a direct mail piece to entice them to keep Big Sky Country on their minds every day of the year.

Evaluation Mechanisms
Montana’s visibility in overseas markets is measured by tracking the number of Montana tourism products that have been added or expanded by international tour operators through tour extracts provided by RMI and numbers provided by the trade offices in Japan and Taiwan, the figures provided in the ITRR Non-resident survey, and the interest level of consumers and trade representatives in overseas target markets.