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Branson, Mo. banking on “near-cations” travel trend with inflation rising

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 2:42 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) -As the cost of gas prices and airfare goes up, near-cations are becoming more of a travel trend.

Many Branson visitors say with inflation rising, vacationing in the tourist town was just the best choice. Steven Carter and his family traveled to Branson from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Carter says with gas prices so high, the two-hour trip was more financially friendly and convenient than other destinations.

”We’re able to have a little mini-vacation, and it’s not as costly as going somewhere like Florida or to fly somewhere,” said Carter.

This week, the Carter family plans to celebrate their son’s seventh birthday. The family says they appreciate how child-friendly Branson is.

”They’ve got a lot of attractions, a lot of things for the kids to do,” Carter said. “It’s clean. It’s a wholesome environment. We don’t have to worry about what’s going on around us.”

Ashley McCauley works at the Historic Downtown Information Center and Ticket Outlet. To help with the growing costs, she encourages visitors to find places that offer discounts on theaters and attractions.

”We do discounts here for everything,” McCauley said. “Mainly for the shows and attractions. You are coming to a smaller community, so it’s going to be a lot cheaper.”

Visitor Tom Taylor says Branson being a drive-to destination is one of the many reasons he chose to come here.

“I’m from Lexington, Kentucky, and started down here on Wednesday,” Taylor said. “I just prefer that because I’m in control when I am driving and (when) flying, I’m at the mercy of the airlines.”

McCauley says beyond the shows and attractions in Branson, there are many beautiful lakes surrounding the area.

”That brings a lot of people when the warm weather starts coming.”

She says the city is way slower than it was this time last year. However, she’s hopeful when school gets out, more travelers will make their way to Branson.

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