Branson visitors are more likely to visit because of a face covering mandate, according to the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, which released the third wave of a Branson Consumer Research report.
According to the study there are six key takeaways:
No.1, mask mandates are favored in Branson:
The study shows that 84% of Branson visitors say mask mandates would either make them more likely to visit or would have no impact whatsoever; 46% of Branson visitors say a mask mandate would make them more likely to visit a destination while 16% say a mandate would make them less likely to visit. Those who are more likely to visit Branson because of a mask mandate outnumber those who are less likely by 2.9 to 1.
No.2, Branson visitors are less enthusiastic than average:
Branson travelers are much less enthusiastic about mask mandates than travelers nationwide. While 77% of Branson prospects say they plan to wear a mask when visiting Branson regardless of a mandate, only 46% indicate they are more likely to visit a destination that enforces a mask mandate (compared to 60% nationally). This shows that Branson travelers are 24% less likely than the average American traveler to support the idea of a mask mandate.
No.3, there is a lack of trust:
The report – the third in a series of summer studies from the chamber – shows that Branson travelers favor the idea of masks a lot more than they did in June. More visitors are wearing masks in their communities (85% vs 62% in June), more say they will wear masks when visiting Branson (77% vs 56%) and more say they will bring their own mask to wear while visiting attractions in Branson (74% vs 58%).
According to the report, one reason people may be more likely to wear masks is because few Branson travelers trust other people to act responsibly. Only 29% of Branson prospects say they would somewhat or completely trust other people to act responsibly compared to 46% who somewhat distrust or do not trust other people at all.
No.4, the impact is closer to home:
According to the report, another possible reason for the increase in mask wearing is because COVID-19 has gotten much closer to home. Study results from June revealed that 31% of Branson prospects knew someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 at the time. However, in the August wave 3 study this percentage more than doubled to 64%.
No.5, increased cases, decreased travel intent:
Almost half (49%) of Branson visitors indicate they will probably or definitely visit Branson in the next three months, which is down 4 percentage points from the 53% recorded in June and 54% in May.
Past visitors’ intent to visit Branson in the next six months reveals a similar pattern. Currently, 56% say they plan to visit Branson in the next six months, which is down from 59% in June. The same downward trend appears when the timeframe is worded differently. However, those who plan to visit in 2020 are more likely to visit in the Fall (+3 points) and at Christmas (+9 points).
No. 6, barriers to travel:
The biggest barrier to travel among Branson prospects: 67% say is fear that destinations will not do enough to keep travelers safe; 61% are worried about not having restaurant dining areas open to the public; and 58% are worried about other visitors getting too close. According to the report, 19% are concerned about direct interaction with employees.
According to a comparison chart provided by the Chamber, 941 people responded to the third wave of the study (Aug. 2020), 562 people to the second wave (July 2020) and 477 people to the first wave (May 2020).
These studies have been done by H2R Market Research, who provides new, updated information regarding consumer sentiment and customer intent regarding travel.