“Official” Branson website listing responsibility of business

Recently it was noted that not all businesses collecting and paying the retail tourism tax to the city of Branson and the Branson Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District (TCED) are listed on the website billing itself as the “Official Website of Branson, Missouri, www.explorebranson.com (website). The website URL is owned by the city of Branson. It along with the site content, as it existed as of Feb. 27, 2007, was leased to the TCED for a period of three years for the purposes of promoting tourism within the TCED.

The financing for the website comes from two basic sources, the one percent TCED retail sales tax on most retail items purchased within the District which encompasses an area covering all Branson, the State Park Marina and out to Indian Point including Silver Dollar City. The second source is the 25 percent of the four percent city of Branson Tourism Tax on accommodations, restaurants, shows, and attractions. It is estimated that about $6.6 million will be available from these two sources for marketing in Fiscal Year 2009.

The Branson Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), under a contract with the TCED does the marketing for the TCED, including the management and marketing of the exploreranson.com website. CVB Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations, Dan Lennon, Lennon said that all any retail or tourism business collecting either of the city of Branson’s tourism taxes has to do to be listed on the site is call James Little, Director of Web Services at 417-334-4084 Ext. 313.

Lennon points out that the CVB is transitioning from a “membership based” marketing organization to a “constituent business” based marketing organization and is functionally separate from the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. Lennon said that under the old membership system marketing opportunities did relate to membership. He stressed that under the new constituent business concept that is no longer the case and every retail and tourism related business collecting either the city or TCED tourism tax is eligible to take advantage of the CVB’s marketing opportunities on an equal basis.

These opportunities include one free basic listing on explorebranson.com. He said that, currently, additional listings, links, and advertising are available to all constituent businesses on an equal basis. In addition, constituent businesses are equally entitled to share in any of the myriad of marketing opportunities offered by the CVB. Lennon said that the CVB is constantly looking for ways to improve and market Branson more efficiently and invites any constituent business or organization to participate in the process.

Furnished Courtesy of the Branson Daily Independent.

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
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