Glacier Country Expeditions

Supporting the Visitor Experience
Visitor Information Center Grants + Event Promotion Program

Glacier Country Tourism (GCT) recently awarded a total of $58,000 in grant funding to seven visitor information centers (VICs) throughout the region. Glacier Country has long supported VICs with training and financial assistance. Studies show VICs are more likely to be used by first-time visitors traveling to an area. Visitors who use VICs are more likely to stay longer, experience more of what that community has to offer and have an overall better experience. The purpose of the VIC grant is to supplement qualified visitor information center programs with paid and/or volunteer staff positions to operate their centers. The following VICs were awarded grants:

· Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce – $10,000
· Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce – $10,000
· Cut Bank Area Chamber of Commerce – $8,000
· Libby Area Chamber of Commerce – $8,000
· Polson Chamber of Commerce – $6,000
· Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor Center – $8,000
· Whitefish Area Chamber of Commerce – $8,000

Additionally, Glacier Country Tourism has approved nine events for the GCT Community Event Marketing Assistance Program. This program is intended to assist communities within the Glacier Country region to promote out-of-area attendance and increase nonresident visitor commerce and community revenue. Each event awarded will receive $500 in direct marketing assistance through Facebook and Instagram paid event and/or click-through ads for one month. A high-level of concentration is given to events held in rural communities. Applications are still being accepted for the promotion months of October, November, December, January, February, March and April. Apply at

· Columbia Falls Community Market, May 19 – Sept. 29, Every Thursday
· Independence Day Celebration, Thompson Falls, July 2
· Hogslop String Band, Thompson Falls, July 14
· Symphony in the Park, Missoula, August 14
· Whitefish Trail Hootenanny, Whitefish, August 19
· Rumble in the Bay Car Show, Bigfork, Sept. 3 + 4
· Whitefish Songwriter Festival, Sept. 15 – 17
· McIntosh Apple Day and Liquid Apple Night, Hamilton, Oct. 1
· Cut Bank Chamber’s Holiday Bazaar, Nov. 12
· Cloverfest, Columbia Falls, March 11, 2023

Destination Stewardship Updates

Glacier Country Tourism is nearing the completion of the destination stewardship strategic planning process and is internally reviewing the first draft of the plan presented by MMGY + Better Destinations. The plan reflects Montana’s resident and stakeholder concerns to be addressed and dreams to be pursued—and the future role of Glacier Country Tourism.

Stay on the lookout for the final plan to be shared at

Mark Your Calendar
Board Meetings



October 11, 2022
Noon – 3 p.m.



December 13, 2022
Noon – 3 p.m.



March 14, 2023
Noon – 3 p.m.

Our board meetings are open to the public, and we welcome attendance. Meetings in May and October are in person, and meetings in December and March are 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 2022 through May 2022

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 director of operations and accounting, at 406.532.3234.

Tourism Sales and
Public Relations Update

The group tour market is back with tour companies offering multiple series of tours through the region this summer and fall. Glacier Country Tourism’s Marketing Project Manager, Aerionna Skrutvold, attended Spotlight in Rapid City, South Dakota, in April. It was an intimate trade show with 19 tour operators in attendance, and all were interested in expanding their tour product into the West as operators continue to receive trip requests for national parks, wide-open spaces and unique adventures/lodging. Next year, Spotlight will be held in Missoula, April 16 to 18, 2023. Stay tuned for ways Glacier Country Tourism partners can participate.

Glacier Country Tourism’s Director of Sales, Debbie Picard, attended International Roundup in May and IPW in June, meeting with international tour operators and travel agents with interest in itineraries for couples and families that want to travel to the Great American West region of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Travel to rural, less populated areas in the U.S. is considered “safer” to Europeans compared to a lot of the larger populated cities in the U.S., driving pent-up demand to our region.

Business travel has resumed, and Western Montana’s convention hotels and retreat partners are seeing an increase in requests for meetings/convention proposals. Debbie attended the World Education Conference hosted by Meeting Professionals International in San Francisco in June along with Destination Missoula and Explore Whitefish. Topics discussed included trends, economics and outlook for the meetings industry. Glacier Country Tourism partners that focus on the meetings market can reach out to Debbie at for insights.

It’s destination wedding season, and our Glacier Country Tourism partners in the weddings industry are extremely busy. Partners who would like to promote your business specifically to the meetings, group and international tour markets via our B2B Blog,, let us know at All tourism sales leads can be found on our Partner Center page at

Glacier Country Tourism’s Director of Communications, Lucy Guthrie, attended a number of conferences and media networking events this quarter. She attended the Travel Bloggers Exchange (TBEX) in Tri-Cities, Washington, where she had one-on-one meetings with 25 bloggers and four days of networking. After that was the Destinations International Marketing and Communications Conference in Seattle, where 300 industry professionals met, shared ideas and attended relevant tourism sessions. Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Travel and Tourism Conference in Spokane was next, followed by IPW (International Pow Wow) in Orlando, Florida, where she met with 25 international journalists.

Glacier Country Tourism partnered with ROAM Beyond in Columbia Falls this quarter in hosting five influencers who visited and posted content with a “Recreate Responsibly” theme. Michelle Stelly (@thewanderingqueen), Krista Staudinger (@go4theglobe), Skye Stoury (@skystoury), Sarah and Miles Bielski (@adventuringeyes) and Hilary and Javier Ramirez (@livewhatyoufear) were all in-region in May and June.

Coming up are hosted visits with journalists from Australia, Italy and Belgium. We’re grateful to have our international visitors back!

Partners interested in hosting media or showcasing their business can reach out to Lucy at for potential inclusion in a FAM or media trip.

5 Reasons to Renew
Renew Your Glacier Country Tourism Partnership Today

More than 2 million unique visitors a year utilize to assist in planning their vacations, and your membership guarantees excellent visibility throughout our site. Here are five reasons to renew:

  1. Featured listings on, and reaching a massive online audience.
  2. Partner badge on your website for credibility/SEO benefits.
  3. Access to quality consumer leads and free trade-show leads.
  4. Cooperative premium advertising opportunities on
  5. Listing and advertising opportunities in the Glacier Country Travel Guide.

To renew your partnership or advertise with us, email Annie Mead at

Visit our Partner Center at

© 2022 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.

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