Industry News

Explore Branson destination ascends with nearly 10 million visitors in 2021

Niches driving growth in SW Missouri Ozarks oasis; 10 golf courses, three lakes, dozens of live shows beckon

(Branson, Missouri; April 14, 2022) – Explore Branson, the Destination Marketing Organization for the popular tourism venue in the Southwest Missouri Ozarks, announced a record number of travelers in 2021. Nearly 10 million people selected Branson to visit last year.

Approximately 9,996,000 visitors came into the region in 2021, a significant increase over COVID-19 impacted 2020, and also increased more than 10% over 2019, the last non-COVID-19 affected year.


While overall numbers were up across the board, the positive trends held true for many destination niches, not the least of which is golf. Branson’s 10 courses, live entertainment theaters, exceptional lakes, and family friendly activities are renowned for their variety and quality.

All 10 Branson Golf courses are open to the public and range from luxury resort to popular daily fee options. Located close to one another, the courses are ideally situated near a plethora of visitor options including lodging, restaurants, theme park, museums, and countless other attractions without losing their idyllic natural settings that enable players to escape into the Ozarks’ natural bounty.

Traveling to Branson is convenient as it is within a one-day drive for 50 percent of the U.S. population. Those who prefer flying can choose between Springfield-Branson International Airport (SGF) – which has the most commercial airline choices – and Branson Airport (BKG), into which a significant number of private flights choose and to where some low-fare carrier routes arrive.

Six of Missouri’s Top 10-rated courses are in the Branson Golf destination, including the top three. Some of those are ranked among the country’s top 100 public courses by leading magazines.

“The numbers don’t lie - Branson is a destination that appeals to so many, and now that we’re emerging from the pandemic, it’s wonderful to see statistics showing that people are coming in record numbers,” said Lynn Berry, Explore Branson Director of Communications. “We’re fortunate to have so many great and new golf courses, and we know that they are one reason why more people are choosing to visit us.”

Course designs by Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Bob Cupp, and Tom Fazio combine with first-class playing conditions, welcoming hospitality, and five courses that are certified by Audubon International for their environmental and conservation best practices.  

Branson is annually voted a TripAdvisor community top U.S. destination, ranking No. 3 in 2021.

For more information about Branson visit

For more about Branson Golf, visit:

Explore Branson Golf Courses
Ozarks National, 800.225.6343
Mountain Top, 800.225.6343
The Pointe, 417.334.4477
Thousand Hills, 800.487.0769, 417.334.4553
Buffalo Ridge, 800.225.6343
LedgeStone, 417.335.8187
Top of the Rock, 800.225.6343
Branson Hills, 417.337.2963
Payne’s Valley, 800.225.6343
Holiday Hills, 417.334.4838

About Explore Branson
Branson is a one-of-a-kind family vacation destination nestled in the lakeside beauty of the Ozark Mountains — and an incredible value — with dozens of live performance theaters, three pristine lakes, an international award-winning theme park, dozens of attractions and museums, a Historic Downtown district, a Town Center-style shopping complex, a full range of dining options, and a host of hotels, motels, resorts, RV parks, campgrounds and meeting and conference facilities. Branson is less than one day's drive for one-third of America’s residents. With low-cost flights to the Branson Airport (BKG and nearby Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), it has never been easier to access Branson. Call 1-800-296-0463 for help planning your next vacation, convention or reunion. See more at:

Dan Shepherd,, 703.403.5317
Gary Trask,, 978-228-0314