Once you have status to go to the World Championships there is zero reason to play in local tours. It doesn't matter the age or the reason. There are a lot of good players out there and you should move on to allow them to have a shot at qualifying. Furthermore, you have said it yourself that the distance of the US Kids Locals are too short. He should move on to bigger and better tournaments, US Kids Locals are the bottom of the barrel in terms of competing.
I sooo wish more parents had this attitude. We have an incredible player locally that always plays the local tour, and always wins. Makes it nearly impossible for others to get any status through the locals. He'll show up to regionals and win there as well making it that much harder for other kids to get any status. He finished 2nd this year at worlds, so clearly doesn't need to play locals, but sure enough signed up again for this fall. No offense to the parent or the kid, as they're great people to hang out with, but sure would be nice if they skipped a few tournaments or played elsewhere once in a while.
It is because they don't know or understand. I actually confronted someone about it in an age group up from ours. They had absolutely no idea.