The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

2023 Tourism Grant Application Cycle Opens


August 24, 2022

The 2023 Tourism Grant Program application cycle opened on August 1. Through this program, grants are available to Montana nonprofit organizations and city, county, and tribal governments for projects to enhance and develop the state’s recreation and tourism industry. Funding may be used for facility construction and upgrades, arts, heritage, and cultural preservation. Applications are due September 15 at midnight.

According to the Montana Department of Commerce, the State of Montana levies two different taxes on accommodations: the 4% Lodging Facility Use Tax and the 4% Lodging Facility Sales Tax. Totaling 8%, these taxes are collected from guests of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, guest ranches, resorts, short-term vacation rentals, and campgrounds in Montana. The 4% Lodging Facility Use Tax, commonly known as the “Bed Tax,” is then used to fund tourism-related activities. Distribution of the 4% collected funds is determined by state statute.

In this funding cycle, a total of one million dollars is available for projects that develop and enhance tourism—one of Montana’s leading industries. Funds are generally awarded to tourism and recreation projects within the following categories:

• Digital product development for online assets that create or contain a destination brand for the tourism and/or recreation industry

• Heritage preservation projects which preserve, protect, or restore Montana’s arts, culture and/or heritage treasures

• Infrastructure upgrades or enhancement projects of tourism facilities to enrich visitor experience and increase revenue

• Niche product development projects within the three brand pillars of interest to out-of-area visitors as identified in the Montana Destination Brand Research Study

• Wayfinding for a community or outdoor recreation opportunity through signage, mapping, or destination development.

The Tourism Grant Program awards funds annually to projects that not only strengthen Montana’s economy but support recreation products that have the potential to increase out-of-area visitation.

Montana-based non-profit 501(c) organizations—as well as tribal, city, and county governments—are eligible entities. Representatives of those entities with qualified projects are encouraged to visit for application forms and available resources. Anyone with questions should contact Michele Cushman at the Montana Department of Commerce. Cushman can be reached by phone (406-841-2796) or via email (

Brand MT at the Department of Commerce markets Montana to maximize non-resident spending. Non-resident visitors support jobs and reduce state and local taxes for Montana residents by adding money to the state’s economy.

The 2023 annual application cycle closes at midnight MST on September 15.


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