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Less colorful fall foliage not expected to hurt tourism in Missouri

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

9/28/07 – The forecast of less colorful leaves in Missouri this year is expected to have very little impact on the number of tourists who visit the Show Me State.

State conservation officials blame the less-colorful forecast on several factors, primarily last winter's ice storm, the Easter cold snap, and several weeks of hot, dry weather during the summer.

Lynn Pickerel with the state Division of Tourism says, though, they don't expect it to turn visitors away from Missouri.

"It's one of our busiest times of the year for festivals, both in the tiny towns and the big cities, and that will certainly attract visitors and have a lot of people out and enjoying the fall weather," Pickerel said.

Scenic drives make up 28 percent of tourist activities in Missouri, second only to shopping.

"The apples and the pumpkins that you can find in the roadside stands, the you-pick pumpkins, the corn mazes, the hay rides, horseback riding, all those activities...people will still come, we believe, for those, no matter what the leaves are looking like," Pickerel said.

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