Montana Conference on Tourism Set for April 23 – 25

photo of man sitting in front

Governor’s Conference on Tourism¬†April 23‚ÄĒ25, 2023

Delta Hotels by Marriott Helena Colonial | Helena

The Governor’s Conference on Tourism is Montana’s annual gathering of private and public sector partners in the tourism and recreation industries.

Due to limited space, no guest registrations are offered for the conference, meals, or FAM tours. Those wishing to attend any or all of the conference activities, meals, etc. must register as a standard conference attendee and pay the full registration fee. This guarantees each attendee a seat and space at all sessions and all meals.

Tourism Grant Application Cycle Opens With $1 Million Available

people taking pictures during daytime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 10, 2022

CONTACT: Anastasia Burton | | 406.841.2557

The Montana Department of Commerce announced today that the 2023 Tourism Grant program application cycle is now open. The Tourism Grant program funds projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through the development and enhancement of the state’s tourism and recreation industry. A total of $1 million is available for projects that develop and enhance tourism and recreation products which have the potential to increase out-of-area visitation.

‚ÄúTourism is one of Montana‚Äôs leading industries. Out-of-area visitors add money to the state‚Äôs economy, supporting jobs and reducing state and local taxes for Montana residents,‚ÄĚ said Montana Department of Commerce Director Scott Osterman. ‚ÄúRecently, Montana‚Äôs tourism economy took a significant hit, largely due to flooding. These grants will help support the development of tourism and recreation projects, increase visitation, and stabilize our tourism-dependent communities while reinforcing Montana‚Äôs draw as a destination for travelers from all over the world.‚ÄĚ

Applications for the grant funding will be open to Montana-based non-profit 501(c) organizations, Tribal governments, city governments, and county governments. Funds are generally awarded to tourism and recreation projects within these categories:

  • Digital product development¬†for online assets that create or contain a destination brand for the tourism and/or recreation industry.
  • Heritage preservation projects¬†which preserve, protect, or restore Montana‚Äôs arts, culture and/or heritage treasures.
  • Infrastructure upgrades or enhancement projects of tourism facilities¬†to enrich visitor experience and increase revenue.
  • Niche product development projects¬†within the three brand pillars of interest to out-of-area visitors as identified in the¬†Montana Destination Brand Research Study.
  • Wayfinding¬†for a community or outdoor recreation opportunity through signage, mapping, or destination development.

The 2023 annual application cycle closes at midnight MST on September 15. To learn more and apply, visit BRAND.MT.COM or contact Michele Cushman at the Montana Department of Commerce at or 406.841.2796. Interested applicants can watch a tourism grant application workshop here.

The Tourism Grant Program is funded by the 4% Lodging Facility Use Tax, commonly known as the ‚ÄúBed Tax.‚ÄĚ Enacted by the 1987 Legislature, the Bed Tax is collected from guests of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, guest ranches, resorts, short-term vacation rentals, and campgrounds in Montana.

Promoting Choteau – Ads Results, Marketing & Branding Kit

apple devices books business coffee

Thanks to a couple of grants that are being coordinated by the Choteau Area Port Authority, the Choteau Tourism Business Improvement District, and us here at the Choteau Chamber of Commerce a couple of things have happened; first, the Choteau Acantha has published a Choteau Branding & Marketing Guide, complete with a how-to packet, verbiage and headlines, photos you can use, and more! You can find the full branding guide at

Using the assets from the Choteau Branding & Market Guide, the Acantha has created and published several digital ads, geared toward promoting Choteau and events: skiing Teton Pass, coming to Choteau for the bird migration, spending time in the Choteau area for outfitting, hiking, hunting, fishing, and camping, promoting dinosaur dig expeditions with the Montana Dinosaur Center, celebration of 4th of July, and finally promoting RSVPs at Choteau restaurants for Valentine’s Day.

So far, the results have been great!

The ads creation process is worth discussing, briefly: the combination of the photos from the photo library (and a few other folks involved in the process), the ad text and headlines written by the Acantha, and our digital market platform we can create dynamic ads. Each ad set can generate 1,250 ad combinations that can be placed in 12 different ad spots – 15,000 unique ads per topic! We’re currently running 8 topics, so that means we have created and are running 120,000 unique ads.

Over time, the ad platform will learn which demographics (male vs female, by age, by relationship status, hobbies and interests, etc.) like which combinations. As more ads are shown, the ads will algorithmically become more effective and drive down the cost per click!

Over time, the ad platform will learn which demographics (male vs female, by age, by relationship status, hobbies and interests, etc.) like which combinations. As more ads are shown, the ads will algorithmically become more effective and drive down the cost per click!

Nominate a Choteau Tourism Business for Award

Via the Montana Department of Commerce:

We are now accepting nominations for the 2020 Tourism Awards. These awards recognize outstanding accomplishments of the people, businesses, organizations and communities that strengthen Montana’s tourism and recreation industries.
Nominations are open from January 16, 2020 ‚Äď February 16, 2020.

There are quite a few Choteau Chamber members who are excellent tourism businesses! Nominate one today!

Choteau Area Port Authority Receives Marketing Grant!

Choteau Area Port Authority Logo

Congratulations to the Choteau Area Port Authority! They received the Department of Commerce Tourism Grant to create marketing and branding materials for the Choteau Area!

We in the Choteau Chamber are excited to be a part of this historic collaboration between Choteau’s 3 primary economic development and business organizations: the Choteau Chamber of Commerce, the Choteau Tourism Business Improvement District, and the Choteau Area Port Authority!

If you know a marketer or designer who would be interested in submitting an RFP, please have them contact Choteau Area Port Authority President Mary Sexton at

ITRR: Tourism and Recreation Data Questionnaire

As you’re all aware, we‚Äôre living in an increasingly data-driven society.  Everybody everywhere seems to be worried about data.  How do we get more data?  What do we do with the data?  What does the data mean?  Data, data, data!  No surprise that many of you are actively collecting and interested in data!
With all the data out there, the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) would like to compile a list of data sources that are currently collected or purchased by the tourism industry and related businesses/organizations in Montana.  The objectives of compiling this list are:

  • To better determine costs, collection needs, and feasibility of future research projects.
  • To connect and better serve the tourism industry and stakeholders when data or research are available outside of ITRR.
  • To possibly reduce data collection costs and efforts across the tourism industry and stakeholders.
  • To better coordinate data and research for all users (when feasible).
  • To catalog past research and data collection efforts.

Please take the time (approximately 5 minutes) to complete the following survey and answer each of the questions to the best of your ability.  If you are purchasing the data, please take a moment to review the proprietary nature of your data service before beginning the survey.

Feel free to contact Matthew Pettigrew at ITRR with any questions or concerns.
406-243-5635 OR

If you are a tourism-based business, follow this link to the Survey:
Take the Survey