Balancing the Economic Development of Tourism in 2022
Stewardship, Management, Sentiment
Sponsored by Flathead Electric Cooperative
Tourism remains our largest economic engine in the Flathead. Come find out how tourism management is changing in a post-pandemic world ensuring our businesses are supported while managing visitation to ensure long-term sustainability and vitality in our magical community and its surroundings.
Carter Bermingham, M.S., Social Scientist and Research Associate
Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana
Carter will review findings from ITRR’s recent study on Residents’ Attitude Towards Tourism.
Residents from across the state were asked a standard set of questions about their attitudes towards tourism, as well as some additional questions related to the economic benefits of tourism, travelers and travel behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. A large majority of Montanans (71%) still agree that the overall benefits of tourism outweigh the negative impacts. Similarly, more than eight out of 10 residents agree that tourism promotion by the state benefits their communities economically. That question, however, saw a great deal of variation in its level of agreement when different travel regions of the state were compared.
Carter will review the state-wide data as well as input received from Glacier Country region residents.
Diane Medler, Executive Director
Diane has a thirty-year career in hospitality and marketing, including as the Executive Director of Discover Kalispell since 2010.
Having grown up in the hospitality industry the importance of uniqueness of place and promoting its special attributes was drilled in at an early age.
As the designated destination marketing organization for Kalispell, Discover Kalispell plays an important role to support local businesses who depend on the area’s tourism-based economy. In addition to Destination Marketing, Discover Kalispell serves the critical role as a community partner and steward, working closely with other stakeholders to maintain the cultural, environmental and aesthetic integrity of our mountain town. Helping to protect the qualities that make Montana a special place to live and visit.
Diane will share how Discover Kalispell is adapting its work plan to deliver on stewardship, sustainable tourism, and shoulder season marketing.
Kate Hammond, Interim Superintendent
Glacier National Park
Since 2016, Kate Hammond has served as deputy regional director for the National Park Service’s intermountain region. This includes park units in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, and who formerly worked as superintendent at Little Bighorn Battlefield Center in Montana and at Valley Forge National Historical Park near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Kate was named Interim Superintendent of Glacier National Park in early January 2022 while a search for a permanent replacement moves forward.
Kate will give us an update on park construction, the vehicle reservation system, and all things GNP.
Thank you to May's Business Matters! Chamber Luncheon Sponsor: