Glacier Country Tourism’s Destination Stewardship Strategy will assess the current state of our regional tourism industry and work in partnership with the 75+ communities in the Glacier Country region to proactively map the evolution, marketing and management of the destination 10 years into the future.
Glacier Country Tourism is proactively leading this effort to identify ways to protect, improve and enhance the region’s long-term quality of life and economic prosperity. As tourism has grown worldwide, destinations that failed to plan for sustainable growth have encountered adverse effects on their community and natural resources. Western Montana continues to see record visitation from travelers. Glacier Country Tourism acknowledges the positive impacts tourism has, increasing the overall quality of life for residents, as well as the pressure tourism add to economic challenges Western Montana already faces, including infrastructure, affordable housing, and workforce. With tourism serving as the largest local economic driver outside of agriculture, there is significant interest in how a stronger and smarter tourism industry might help mitigate these impacts. Glacier Country Tourism’s Destination Stewardship Strategy will provide the community and tourism industry with a 10 year action plan for responsibly stewarding our destination and promoting the economic health of our region.
The Destination Stewardship Strategy is a partnership between Glacier Country Tourism and the communities within the region. Over the coming months, the project team will directly engage hundreds of stakeholders across all eight counties through a variety of 1:1 interviews, town hall meetings, focus groups, and electronic surveys. The Destination Stewardship Strategy will be developed with input from representatives from key industries and community sectors, including agriculture, outfitters, land managers, small business, arts & culture, technology, education, government, non-profits, and tourism, in addition to seeking input from all residents.
To assist us in this project, we have engaged world-renowned destination management experts, MMGY NextFactor and Better Destinations. MMGY NextFactor is an industry-leading consulting firm that specializes in helping destinations deliver sustainable growth while building stronger communities. Better Destinations is a consulting practice that focuses on how to maximize the benefits of tourism while addressing impacts to achieve overall positive outcomes, including stakeholder support.
A comprehensive Destination Stewardship Strategy process typically takes between 9-12 months. A detailed project work plan and calendar can be viewed on the DSS Project Timeline page.
As a community-driven process, the Destination Stewardship Strategy will benefit the residents of the eight-county region known as Glacier Country. By proactively mapping the future of our destination over the next 10 years, we can protect our quality of life and plan for sustainable economic growth.
The Destination Management Strategy is privately funded by Glacier Country Tourism. We are recognized as the official destination marketing and management organization (DMO) for Western Montana and are funded in part by the state accommodations tax (bed tax) and by private partnership funds. Our region includes Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders counties.
We are committed to a transparent and inclusive process and look forward to sharing updates and the final results with the public. We will do this by posting information on the project page of our website, as well as through community and media outreach.