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Branson named a top road-trip destination

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 9:45 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - Branson has been named a “must-see” road trip destination.

Audrey Looman has been taking road trips to Branson at least twice a year for the last thirty years.

”We’ve done almost a little of everything since we’ve been coming for so long, but when they have new things, it’s fun to try the new things too,” Looman says.

Jeannine Wing is planning to come again this summer, saying she loves the food and live entertainment Branson offers.

“The weather this time of year is definitely a plus compared to home,” Wing says. “We have young children with us. There’s lots of entertainment for them, and a lot of the entertainment that entertains kids entertains adults too.”

In 2021, Branson had nearly 10 million visitors.

Branson’s Chamber President Jason Outman says despite rising gas prices, he’s still cautiously optimistic for the summer.

“Branson is such an easy place to drive to from markets all across the country that we’re seeing visitors continue to flock into our area where they’re not making those long-distance trips,” Outman says. “They’re not necessarily driving to the ocean or taking a flight to Orlando just from a cost standpoint.”

The top attractions bringing people into Branson: are Silver Dollar City, the live shows, and shopping.

More than 60% of visitors are families.

Outman says another significant driving factor is more bang for your buck.

“Even if you’re spending a little bit more in your tank to get here from a gas perspective, they know they can come here and maybe spend a little less compared to one of our competitive destinations, so you can still go to Silver Dollar City, you can still see a live show, you can still golf one of our golf courses, at a competitive rate, so you’re not spending as much out of pocket,” Outman says.

Even with high gas prices, tourist Debbie Hemstock says driving down to Branson from Chicago was cheaper than flying.

“For the scenery too,” Hemstock says. “We were able to get out and take breaks along the way. Even though it took us two hours longer, it was still worth taking our time cruising and sightseeing along the way.”

Branson was also named one of the top ten trending destinations in the country for 2022 by TripAdvisor.

It’s ranked third, coming in after the Island of Hawaii and Charleston, South Carolina.

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