Skip to site content
Group Travel Leader Group Travel Leader Group Travel Leader

Missouri: Branson breaks new ground

All photos courtesy Branson CVB

Missouri’s perennial entertainment destination, Branson is continually debuting new shows and attractions. And even with the recent economic challenges, the past few years have been no exception.

New shows are expanding the range of entertainment beyond country music classics to appeal to a younger generation and a wider variety of cultural tastes. And attractions such as the Titanic museum, along with the new “See the World in Branson” program, are giving groups new reasons to give this destination another look.

A number of new shows have come to Branson in recent years, including a Beatles tribute band, a cirque-style acrobatic troupe and several new musical groups.

“A lot of people are going to the classic shows, but also including one or two of the new ones to breathe some life into their itineraries,” said Donna Cordle-Gray, who represents the Missouri Division of Tourism in the group travel market.

One of the newest groups performing in Branson is the Cat’s Pajamas, a quartet of young men who perform a cappella renditions of favorite classic rock songs and 1980s hits. The crooners use their voices to create the sounds of drums, guitars and other instruments at times.

Anther new show, “Brule,” is Branson’s first foray into Native American culture. Billed as a “Native American rock opera,” the show was created by a musically inclined family of American-Indian descent and uses a combination of traditional drums and modern instruments to accompany dancers performing in traditional ceremonial regalia.

Titanic revisited

One of the most significant recent developments for groups in Branson has been the opening of the Titanic Museum, an immersive museum with an exterior resembling the bow of the famous ship. Numerous exhibits in the museum are designed to give visitors the feeling of being aboard the Titanic: Guests squeeze through the narrow hallways of the third-class deck, see a luxurious first-class suite and walk a full-scale replica of the main dining room’s grand staircase.

The museum has numerous artifacts from the ship, including china, dinner menus, clothing and boarding passes. In the final sections, displays chronicle the sinking of the ocean liner and allow guests to experience elements of the drama themselves by trying to stand on a listing ship’s deck or putting their hands in 28-degree water.

Some of the city’s more established attractions are finding new ways to intrigue visitors. This spring, the city introduced the “See the World in Branson” program for groups. During the months of April and May, participating attractions choose to represent specific foreign countries, using typical decor and dressing employees in traditional clothing.

The Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau expects to see an expanded version of the international program next spring.

More Missouri Special Section:

Missouri Photo Slideshow

Branson breaks new ground
Hannibal as America’s hometown
At the trailhead in Independence
Kansas City’s power and light
St. Charles turns on the charm
St. Louis is a city for the senses
The Jesse James connection

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.