As interest in Montana’s outdoor offerings soars in the post-pandemic world, a coalition of agencies and organizations across western Montana have teamed up in a campaign to address the challenges that come with increased visitation.
This week, Glacier National Park, the Flathead National Forest, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks joined the Montana Office of Tourism, Glacier Country Tourism and local tourism groups in launching their “Recreate Responsibly” campaign.
The campaign targets visitors, residents and businesses with an intent to inform those out recreating to be good stewards of Montana’s land, cultures and people. It also looks to prevent wildfires and minimize the impact on outdoor attractions.
“In the spring I reached out to a couple of our trusted tourism partners and state and federal agencies to discuss the upcoming season and challenges we experienced last season,” said Gina Kerzman, the public affairs officer at Glacier National Park. “Several partners volunteered to join our efforts, including the state of Montana, as it became apparent that we were all dealing with similar issues.”
The campaign is directed at both visitors and residents and includes a webpage, airport signage, statewide television and radio advertising, billboards and fuel media videos. It also includes social media advertising and a “Recreate Responsibly” pledge.
The Montana Office of Tourism created the toolkit of resources available to businesses statewide, and a mini grant program for Destination Management Organizations to help produce online and print materials.
Raene Friede, president and CEO of Glacier County Tourism, said the campaign encompasses much of western Montana. As the tourism industry evolves, those who promote visitation must as well, she added.
“Our organization is no longer just a Destination Marketing Organization that simply markets western Montana as a tourism destination,” Friede said. “Our role must also be one of destination management that assists in the preservation of the places and experiences that make our area so attractive to visitors in the first place.”