Weigh In

Tourism is a major economic engine in Montana. We appreciate your support in protecting our industry and helping protect the 4 percent bed tax used to support travel-related organizations as we continue to market Montana as a key travel destination and a prime place where memories are made, special moments are remembered and experiences are created.

Letter Guidelines

  • Must contain writer’s name, address and telephone number. Telephone numbers are not printed and are sued for author verification.
  • Please do not copy and paste from sample letter, but instead use it as a guideline. Be sure to include your own thoughts and opinions.
  • Be respectful.
  • Be clear. Try to focus on one main point.
  • Be sure to include factual information.

Key Issues To Keep In Mind When Writing Letters To The Editor

  • Tourism is the second largest industry in Montana.
  • Nonresident visitors had a total economic impact of over $3 billion to Montana in 2016.
  • 12 million visitors traveled to Montana in 2016. This translated to 12 new customers per Montana resident for Main Street businesses.
  • Tourism and recreation businesses support 34,670 Montana jobs and generated $181 million in state & local taxes.
  • $.75 of every visitor dollar is spent in our local communities.
  • Tourism is a supporter of Montana’s General Fund. The 3 percent Lodging Facilities Sales Tax (added in 2003) deposited more than $20 million into the General Fund in FY17.

Currently, a 4 percent bed tax (lodging facility use tax) is collected at all lodging properties in Montana. That 4 percent is divided between several travel-related partners, including Montana Office of Tourism, Tourism Regions and Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Montana Fish, State Parks, Montana Historical Society, Montana Heritage Preservation and Development Commission, University of Montana (ITRR) and Department of Revenue.

Organizations that receive this funding depend on it. Bed tax dollars are used to market Montana, specific regions and communities to visitors, enticing them to choose Montana for their vacation. Without these bed tax funds, these organizations would not be able to sustain current programs and effectively market to nonresident travelers.

Tourism is competitive. It is imperative that the 4 percent bed tax remains intact and continues to be solely dedicated to supporting travel-related organizations and programs in order to continue attracting visitors to Montana.

Source: 2016 Nonresident Expenditure and Economic Impact Estimates, Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, October 2017

Resources to get you started: