Branson welcomes travel industry

From June 6 – 10, over 400 retail travel agents, tour operators, and group leaders will attend the eleventh annual Sales/Educational Tour, Destined For Branson 2007. This community-wide cooperative marketing endeavor hosted by attractions, shows, restaurants, lodging establishments, and receptive tour operators will entertain and educate travel professionals from across the United States and Canada.

The conference begins with the first of two Big Shows at Tri-Lakes Center conducted by the entertainment community with performances featuring celebrities from more than a dozen theaters. The second day starts off with an overview of Branson’s museums and shopping opportunities and is followed by another set of celebrities showcasing a large variety of Branson performers. With over 100 shows in Branson it is impossible for the attendees to see every show. By providing a sampling of numerous shows, the participants have a better understanding of Branson’s broad array of entertainment.

During the four-day event, conference participants will be attending a marketplace trade show followed by music shows and a gala dinner in their honor. The conference contains a very full schedule to show as much of Branson as possible in the limited time available.

The Gateway Cities of Springfield, Missouri, Overland Park, KS, Kansas City, Missouri, and St. Charles/St. Louis, Missouri, provide hospitality assistance before and after the Branson conference. Their representatives will greet more than 200 of the attendees at their respective airports upon their arrival and wish them farewell at their departure. The Missouri Division of Tourism also assists in hosting the attendees with special greetings and promotional items.

Destined For Branson was formed 11 years ago by business and sales managers working together to continue the momentum of a growing motorcoach market. Their concern was not about the number of group visitors but how to maintain and grow the significant annual visitor count. Branson has been ranked number one or in the top three destinations for motorcoach tours for the past five years.

In 1999 the invitation list was extended to include professional travel agents who represent more than 35,000 active sellers of travel. Expanding the conference to include travel agents was a strategic move to prepare for the changing demographics of the Branson visitor.

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