Document Type



The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

Publication Date



This study was conducted for the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival to provide insight into the characteristics of attendees of the 2016 annual festival in Missoula, MT. Paper surveys were completed by 288 attendees at the event and another 146 email surveys were completed by attendees after the event concluded. Results show that 83% of respondents were residents of Montana and of those Montana residents, 88% were from Missoula County. Out-of-county respondents spent an average of 5.25 nights in Missoula and more people spent money on restaurant/bar, hotel/motel/b&b purchases, and retail while visiting the area than any other spending categories. Restaurant/bar purchases received the highest total dollars spent during the event. Respondents to the survey reported a total spending of $55,229.00 in Missoula during the event. Results provide event organizers at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival with useful data for future event planning, making improvements to the event, event marketing/promotion, and understanding the visitor spending associated with the event.