Glacier Country Tourism’s 2021 Focus
Responsible and Sustainable Economic Recovery for Tourism

Where has the time gone? The one-year mark for living in the world of COVID-19 came and went, and Glacier Country Tourism is now preparing for Western Montana’s busy season. While some areas of the visitor economy are making a strong comeback, some are struggling and will continue to do so for several years.

Glacier Country Tourism recently updated our mission statement to “be the leading destination steward balancing our culture, natural environment, and quality of life and experiences.” This represents the shift made that recognizes residents as our core customer—shifting the focus of tourism marketing in recovery to more local engagement and connection. Tourism drives direct economic impact through the visitor economy to Montana’s small businesses, and fuels development across the entire economy, improving quality of life for residents. “Community” is tied to stewardship and goes beyond local stakeholders and residents. Glacier Country Tourism bridges the gap between communities and visitors, centering itself at the heart of economic recovery and future growth for the communities within Glacier Country.

During the 2021 legislative session, we have been fighting to keep the lodging facility use tax fund distributions intact for Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development along with the regions and CVBs. We have many elected officials who are our advocates, but we also have some who still struggle to understand how important it is to prioritize destination marketing organization (DMO) funding as our communities rely on DMO initiatives for community recovery and growth.

While destination marketing helps in positioning our destination as an attractive brand, the role of destination management is to ensure its sustainability over a prolonged period of time. Much of what Glacier Country Tourism is focusing on today is centered around responsible tourism and sustainability. We cannot afford to take a step backward in the face of rebuilding revenue and profitability in 2021. We are working with public and private partners to develop a thoughtful and robust “recreate responsibly” initiative to ensure we create a model where DMOs serve as a bridge between visitors and residents. DMOs will be critical in ensuring that the entire community can rally around the protection of lifestyle, culture and natural assets within the destination.

Save the date! Glacier Country Tourism is hosting a free virtual Summit May 19 and 20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. National and local industry leaders will be presenting the following sessions: how to develop, partner and implement tourism products; developing your brand; social media for the intermediate/advanced; utilizing safety and recreate responsibly messaging; trends from the Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) + how to access ITRR reports; panel discussion with the University of Montana on workforce development; plus a networking session with giveaways. Register now and learn more at

Mark Your Calendar
Board Meetings



May 11, 2021
noon – 3 p.m.



October 12, 2021
noon – 3 p.m.

Tourism Summit



May 19 – 20, 2021
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Both days, Virtual

Our board meetings are open to the public, and we welcome attendance. During the COVID-19 crisis, meetings will be conducted in an online format using Zoom. The public will have the opportunity to comment both during action-item discussions and under the Open Discussion/Public Comment section of the agenda. Virtual board meeting information will be posted on the Partner Center and Glacier Country Regional Tourism Commission Facebook page.

To learn more, please call the Glacier Country Tourism office at 800.956.6537 or 406.532.3234, or drop us a note at

FY 2021 Through March 2021

Tablet-Friendly Guide Visits


Call Center Inquiries
(phone, email, live chat and travel guide distribution)


Website Visits


Social Media Impressions


Paid Media Impressions


Earned Media Ad Value



Need travel guides? Call Kristi McNeal, Glacier Country Tourism's office manager, at 406.532.3234.

Tourism Sales Update

Inquires for meetings and tours in Western Montana are on the rise, and Glacier Country Tourism has been busy fielding requests for more information from meeting planners and tour operators who have plans to return with groups, in addition to organizers who have never been to Western Montana’s Glacier Country before. They feel that Montana is one of the safest places to visit right now due to our wide-open spaces and lack of congested urban settings.

There has been a significant uptick in RFPs from meeting planners wanting to place meetings in Montana. With the addition of two new air carriers (JetBlue and Sun Country Airlines) along with additional direct flights to California, New York and North Carolina, the ease of access for attendees to fly in for meetings and/or tours in Western Montana has increased. In March, our tourism sales manager, Debbie Picard, attended Go West Summit virtually, where she met with international tour operators who say their clients are ready to travel and are anxiously awaiting borders to reopen and international flights to resume. After each show, trade show leads are available on the Partner Center for follow-up by Glacier Country Tourism partners.

Please be sure to contact Debbie and share what is new at your business, lodging property, attraction or community so she can share that information in her sales efforts. If you would like to promote your business specifically to the meetings and group tour markets via our B2B Blog,, let us know at

We invite all wedding suppliers (venues, DJs, bakeries, photographers, etc.) in Western Montana’s Glacier Country to be listed on our Destination Weddings website,, and get in front of couples researching their options to say, “I do!” in Montana. All Signature Partners are automatically pulled into relevant pages on our wedding site. Basic Partners have a la carte listing options. Contact Neala Siegle at for more information.

Public Relations Update

As COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease and vaccination rates continue to increase, people are starting to book travel, and that includes travel writers. Glacier Country Tourism has been figuring out when hosting travel media will resume, where, and with what focus. With “recreate responsibly” featuring prominently in the marketing plan for 2021 – 2022, that focus has also been front of mind when talking with bloggers, influencers and traditional media about Western Montana.

A biking FAM trip is in the works for September with a “recreate responsibly” and “sustainable tourism” message, along with enjoying Glacier Country in the fall.

We’re also working with contacts made at the International Media Marketplace conference at the end of January, and media visits are in the works for June and beyond for some of the media met there. The topic of Glacier Country’s travel corridors were of great interest, as many travelers are still leaning toward rural vs. urban areas. Partners interested in hosting media or showcasing their business can reach out to Public Relations and Earned Media Manager Lucy Beighle at for potential inclusion in a FAM trip.

Glacier Country continues to maintain a significant online presence
through bloggers and influencers despite the lack of hosting media for
most of 2021, in part because of relationships forged at previous
conferences and conventions.

Visit our Partner Center at

© 2021 Glacier Country Regional Tourism Commission. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any material must be with the consent of the Glacier Country Regional Tourism Commission. Produced with Accommodations Tax Funds.

Glacier Country Tourism is operated by a board of directors (made up of two members from each county in Glacier Country: Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders, up to eight at-large representatives and up to six ex-officio) and the executive director. The board operates under strict rules and regulations set by the governor-appointed Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) and the Montana legislature. The Glacier Country Tourism marketing plan and projects are approved by the board and then submitted to the TAC for final approval.

This email was sent to *|EMAIL|* | Unsubscribe | Why did I get this?