Document Type



Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

Publication Date



Social and Behavioral Sciences


This study was a collaborative effort between the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research and the community of Bigfork, Montana, to provide insight into the impact tourism has on rural communities in Montana. Paper surveys were completed in the community by 160 people. In addition, 15 surveys were completed online resulting in a total of 175 total completed surveys. Results show that of the visitors to the area 18% of respondents were residents of Montana (outside of Flathead County), and 62% were from out-of-state or country. Visitors spent an average of 7.22 nights away from home and 4.47 of those nights were in the town of Bigfork. Most spending in Bigfork was on rented home/cabin/room ($57,242). Respondents to the survey reported a total spending of $135,975 in the Bigfork area. Most respondents in Bigfork were in the area because they felt it was a charming small town, and also agreed that they visited Bigfork because it is relaxing, a scenic drive, and a vibrant small town. Results provide the Bigfork community with useful data for future planning, marketing/promotion, and understanding the visitor spending associated with visitation.


survey kit, Bigfork


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