State tourism officials expect an increase this year of two percent in the $13-Billion a year industry. Why the optimism with gas prices skyrocketing and homeland security officials warning of new terrorist threats? State Tourism Director John Robinson says the number of tourism inquiries are up. Robinson says while gas prices make a tank of gas $5 to $10 more, there are many destinations in Missouri just a day’s drive or less away. He says besides the obvious destinations of Branson or St. Louis or Kansas City, he suggests getting off the beaten path and discover what’s in some of the small towns in the state.
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