U.S. Travel to Induct Peter Herschend into Travel Industry’s Hall of Leaders

September 26, 2023

Peter Herschend will be honored as a 2023 inductee into the U.S. Travel Association Hall of Leaders, joining past prestigious honorees such as Walt Disney and J.W. Marriot, Jr.

Distinguished individuals are named to U.S. Travel’s Hall of Leaders for "sustained, noteworthy contributions” that positively impact the travel industry and raise industrywide standards.

Herschend and his brother Jack, along with their family and employees, grew a small cave tour in Branson, MO, into the internationally acclaimed Silver Dollar City®. More than 70 years later, the company, known today as Herschend Enterprises, is widely recognized as the world’s largest family-owned themed attractions company. Its 12,000+ employees collectively entertain 15 million annual guests at more than two dozen entertainment brands across North America, including Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, the Harlem Globetrotters and many other beloved family attractions.

Herschend is an advocate for tourism development across the United States and was an early proponent of what would become Brand USA, helping inform Senate leaders of the critical need to create and fund a national-level program to promote U.S. destinations.

He is also a steward of his community, taking an active role in improving transportation systems, advancing environmental issues and shaping public education in Missouri. Herschend was instrumental in the development of key infrastructure projects, which improved access to major tourism sites across Missouri. He also founded the Ozarks Water Watch and the Upper White River Basin Foundation and has served on the Missouri Board of Education since 1991.

“Peter is a true champion of Missouri who always works to do right by our state and people. Whenever our state is in need, he puts politics aside and always comes to the table with ideas, optimism and a level of persistence that is rarely seen in others,” said Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson. “Peter's family has prospered thanks to his deep faith and plain-spoken wisdom, and in turn, our state has prospered thanks to his vision, patience and support for good people and causes.”

Herschend will be honored alongside Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of Destination DC. Roger Dow, former president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, was the 2022 U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders honoree.

Ferguson, Herschend and Dow will be honored by the U.S. Travel board of directors at a dinner on November 15, 2023, in Washington, DC.

A list of all previous Hall of Leaders honorees is available here.


All Herschend News


All Herschend News