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Branson, Mo., which presents performances by country and western music stars in more than two dozen theaters, is the year's most popular auto vacation destination behind the perennial favorite, Orlando, Fla., according to the American Automobile Association.

Branson and the Ozark Mountains' Silver Dollar City amusement park nearby are expected to attract about 4.5 million visitors in 1992. After Orlando and Branson, the AAA's auto travel counselors rated Yellowstone National Park third among auto vacation destinations. San Diego and Lancaster, Pa., tied for fourth place, were followed by Williamsburg, Va. The ratings are based on the number of inquiries about various destinations received by the AAA from members.


American Express has opened a travel service office in Leipzig, Germany, bringing the number of its offices in former East European states to 25. The company also has offices in Berlin and Dresden in eastern Germany.

The Leipzig bureau is in the Hotel Astoria, across from the city's main railroad station. It is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

This year the company has established offices in Prague; St. Petersburg; Tirana, Albania; Vilnius, Lithuania, and Riga, Latvia.

Leipzig is one of four cities in the former East Germany - the others are Berlin, Dresden and Erfurt - that are the subject of new color maps that Avis is giving to drivers of its rental cars in eastern Germany.