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Branson chamber hires new CEO

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Last edited 8:48 a.m., Dec. 9, 2020

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau hired its next president and CEO.

Jason Outman is coming from South Carolina to take on the job, effective Jan. 18, according to a news release. He succeeds Jeff Seifried, who exited the Branson chamber this summer to join Connell Insurance Inc. as president and CEO.

Outman has served the past six years as executive director of Experience Columbia SC, a destination marketing organization promoting an area with 14.8 million annual visitors, a $2.3 billion economic impact and over 11,600 hotels rooms, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"His passion for destination promotion and approach to researched-based marketing should drive more visitors and business to our area," said Derek Smith, chairperson of the Branson/Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District, in the release. "He brings a fresh perspective and years of (destination marketing organization) expertise to our amazing destination.

"We welcome Jason and his family to the Ozarks and look forward to working with him to market the TCED.”

With Seifried at the head, the Branson chamber helped lead the tourism-heavy economy to an all-time high of 9.1 million visitors in 2019, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. However, estimated visitation was just over 5 million through the end of October, said Jonas Arjes, the chamber's interim president and CEO. That's down by approximately 31%-32% from the same time last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

Arjes told SBJ in July that the organization was tracking $800 million to $850 million worth of projects in the area.

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