Outdoor tourism booming in Branson

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Branson is wrapping up another busy summer of tourism. Now, more than ever, it’s the outdoor adventures that have helped draw crowds to the Ozarks.

When tourists take in the sights of the Branson, they love the lakes and rolling hills of the Missouri Ozarks.

“I see that they’re looking for adventure,” Parakeet Pete’s Zip-Line and Balloon Owner Craig Combs said.

Combs has been in the Branson tourism industry for years. He says more families, including his own, now look to Branson as a destination with lots of options.

“Raising a family, I get to see them enjoy zip lining and the mountain coaster and we still enjoy the things that have been here for 25 years that I grew up enjoying as well,” Combs said.

Branson Tourism leaders say while shows are still Branson’s biggest draw, outdoor activities are quickly gaining speed.

“It’s a natural beauty that’s always been here,” Downhill Bikes Owner Craig Erickson said.

Erickson says out of the 20 years he’s been in business, recent years have brought a boom in folks wanting to explore the great outdoors.

“People who are coming here are looking for more things to do outside of what Branson already vary effectively offers. So, here we are trying to fill that niche,” Erickson said.

So whether it’s by bike, balloon, or zip-line, Branson has something for everyone.

“We have so much diversity in Branson now, that it’s worth your while to come down and see what we have to offer. There’s so much more,” Erickson said.

The Branson Tourism Center General Manager says as this growth continues, it’s all made possible by community members willing to invest in the future of the industry.


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