Now is the Time to Plan a Vacation to Branson

A paraphrase of the title of a recent article entitled, “Travel Experts Say Now is the Time to Plan a Vacation,” published on the KSMU Ozarks Public Radio website could be “Now is the Time to Plan a Vacation to Branson.” The article points out that despite the challenging economic times people are still planning on traveling and taking a vacation this summer.

It indicated that now was a good time to plan a vacation because, although there are deals still available, demand is ahead of last year and prices, particularly for gas and air fares are on the rise. The article’s initial emphasis was aimed at travel in general turned to travel in Missouri and, specifically Branson, with the statement, “Travel right here in Missouri also appears to be increasing after a tourism lull last year in places like Branson.”

The Branson Lakes/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has been stating for months that their research indicated that in spite of the economic conditions, people would still take vacations in 2009. They may not travel as far, stay as long, or spend as much money, but they would still take vacations. The CVB modified the 2009 marketing plan for Branson to accommodate the recommendations contained in the research.

The article reports that Lynn Berry, Director of Public Relations for the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that current estimates show that the demand for rooms in Branson was up 20 percent and the number of visitors visiting Branson was up 14 percent. On the morning of May 21 Berry stated that those figures were for the first quarter.

Berry continued saying that she is optimistic that tourism will continue to rise in Branson because families can always find something to do whether they have a lot of money to spend or not. She said several shows and attractions in Branson are offering cheaper deals to continue to bring more people back to Branson.

Paul Miller, General Manager Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected providers of Branson services said early planning and booking offers travelers the best opportunity to take advantage of the deals that are available. He pointed out, deals aside, early planning and booking also provides travelers with the best selection of prices, accommodations, and seat selection. Miller expressed his opinion, based on the activity he has seen, that the number of visitors to Branson is up not only totally, but on a month to month basis.