Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Recreation Management

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Norma P. Nickerson

Commitee Members

Carol L. Bruneau, Keith Bosak


Geotourism, Montana, Tourism, Market Segmentation, Sustainable Tourism


University of Montana


Recently, the state of Montana has taken steps to manage and market its tourism industry under the principles of geotourism. Geotourism is an integrated form of sustainable tourism aimed at maintaining and enhancing the geographical character of a destination by focusing upon multiple aspects of the travel experience (Stokes, Cook, & Drew, 2003). After an initial study on geotourism in Montana (Boley & Nickerson, 2009) confirmed the presence of geotravelers in the Crown of the Continent region, research interest now lies in learning more about the geotouristic tendencies of visitors at the statewide level. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which nonresident visitors to Montana are geotravelers based on general travel behavior and the importance placed on geotourism attributes while traveling in Montana. A statewide geotourism survey instrument was developed for this purpose. The survey instrument included the travel behavior section from the Geotourism Survey Instrument (GSI) as well as a geotourism attribute importance scale. Prospective respondents for the study were intercepted at gas station, rest areas, and airports throughout the state. Overall, 419 visitors participated in the study from July through September of 2009. Results from the study indicate that statewide visitors can be considered geotravelers. On a scale from 1 to 6 with 1 representing a non-geotraveler and 6 representing a perfect geotraveler score, respondents scored an average of 4.34 on the travel behavior section of the GSI. In addition, high mean scores on the majority of geo-attributes confirms that the statewide respondents in this study are geotravelers. As travelers to the state are in agreement with the principles of geotourism, it is recommended that Montana’s tourism industry continues to manage and market itself as a geotouristic destination.



© Copyright 2010 Dylan Michael Boyle