In the largest federal crack-down on illegal curbside motorcoaches to date, on Thursday, May 31st, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it had shut down 26 companies that had been operating unsafely and illegally in the I-95 corridor on the East Coast. Learn more about the shut-down here and ABA's reaction to this safety effort.
ABA Supports Bus Safety Enforcement Actions
The American Bus Association strongly supports and applauds the recent actions by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and state law enforcement agencies to crack down on illegally operating, unsafe motorcoach companies. The FMCSA’s action eliminates 26 unsafe and illegal bus companies and will have a very positive effect on the safety of the traveling public.
The ABA believes that for too long these now out-of-service companies have managed to flout the laws and regulations that safe, well-run bus companies follow. The concentrated action to get these carriers shutdown and prosecuted is much appreciated. We continue to believe that strong, consistent enforcement of the current regulations governing motorcoach operations is the most effective way to insure the safety of the traveling public. Motorcoach transportation remains the safest form safest form of surface transportation.
We look forward to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro continuing to provide such strong leadership and we will continue to work with them.
The 26 motorcoach companies were affiliated with three networks in six states. FMCSA served those companies with orders on Wednesday, May 30 declaring them an imminent hazard to public safety and other violations. The company’s websites were ordered to shut down and they were instructed to discontinue operating buses or selling tickets. The three networks operating the 26 companies were APEX, New Century and I-95 Coach. FMCSA also says it is continuing its efforts to find and close other illegally operating bus companies.
“Companies that flout the laws and regulations that safe, well run bus companies follow, and the concentrated action to get these carriers shutdown and prosecuted are much appreciated. FMCSA’s actions went far beyond random roadside inspections, and ABA very much supports these types of law enforcement efforts. We will continue to support FMCSA, and we urge our members to operate at the highest level of safety,” said ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso.
“The motorcoach industry is the safest form of surface transportation in the United States. As an association representing safe and reputable bus operators, ABA believes only well-run companies that place safety at the highest level, should be allowed to carry passengers. In recent years, our industry has made great strides to improve motorcoach safety, but still more can be done and we at the ABA and our members are committed to doing that,” added Pantuso.
The ABA reviews its membership ranks every 90 days and remove as members any company that has an Unsatisfactory score in the FMCSA’s SAFER system data base. Companies that have a Conditional score are given 180 days to bring the scores up to Satisfactory or they are also removed from the ABA’s membership. None of these companies were ABA members.
The ABA has a “Code of Ethics” that our members must sign to join, and it spells out they must comply with all state and federal regulations. ABA also believes the Federal and State government must have the authority to impound motorcoaches after the authorities shut down the companies like these. ABA also supports on going legislative efforts to improve motorcoach safety, including a proposal by Senator Charles Shumer of New York to assign motorcoach companies a letter grade, A through F, depending on a company’s inspection scores.
It was an accident that never should have happened. Tragedy struck early on the morning of March 12, 2011, when a motorcoach operated by World Wide Tours of New York collided with a roadside barrier, killing 15 passengers and leaving 18 others with serious injuries. The motorcoach was traveling on I-95 in New York City, 23 miles per hour over the speed limit, by a driver whose license had been suspended 18 times, as the passengers returned from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The NTSB will hold a hearing on Tuesday, June 5, at 9:30 a.m. (ET) to determine the probable cause of the accident and consider safety recommendations.
ABA staff will be at the hearing to observe the proceedings and be available for questions about motorcoach safety from the media that will be covering the event.
It is expected that the NTSB will make recommendations about keeping illegally operating motorcoach operators off the road, efforts ABA has long supported.
"Companies and their employees that flout the laws that safe, well-run bus companies follow, and the concentrated action to get these carriers shut down and prosecuted, are much appreciated. We will continue to support the NTSB and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and we urge our members to operate at the highest level of safety," said ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso.
"The motorcoach industry is the safest form of surface transportation in the United States. As an association representing safe and reputable bus operators, ABA believes only well-run companies that make safety their top priority should be allowed to carry passengers. In recent years, our industry has made great strides to improve motorcoach safety, but still more can be done. We at ABA and our members are committed to doing that," added Pantuso.
For more information, visit the NTSB's World Wide Tours accident investation webpage: http://go.usa.gov/pxV
The American Bus Association is pleased to announce that The Insider, the motorcoach industry's highest-circulation news brief, is becoming a weekly edition beginning June 11th. You'll also notice a slight change in the layout as the ABA is partnering with MultiView Media of Irving, Texas, to produce the content and distribute The Insider every week to your inbox.
"We're pleased that interest in readership and advertising strongly supports this decision to expand The Insider. We know that the motorcoach and tourism industry relies on ABA to provide straight, unbiased, factual reporting in its publications, and by publishing a weekly version we can provide more up-to-date news about the industry. We are excited about working with MultiView Media, which has an outstanding reputation with the trade association business world, providing high-quality news briefs to hundreds of associations and businesses," said Peter J. Pantuso, President and CEO, American Bus Association.
Just hours after the National Transportation Safety Board holds a critical hearing looking into the cause of the March 2011 World Wide Tour crash that killed 15 passengers and left 17 others injured, ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso will be a guest on the Jim Bohannon coast-to-coast radio show on the night of June 5th. Peter will be interviewed from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. eastern daylight time. ABA staff members will be at the hearing to observe the proceedings and be available to discuss motorcoach safety with the NTSB staff and the media.
It is expected that Peter will take questions about ABA's efforts to improve motorcoach safety and how ABA has been working closely with the NTSB and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to get illegally operating bus companies, such as World Wide Tours, off the road permanently. Callers will be invited to question Peter at 1-866-505-4626.
The Jim Bohannon show is produced in Washington, D.C., by the Dial Global Radio Network and is heard on more than 500 stations across the country, including the legendary KDKA, 1020 AM, in Pittsburgh, the oldest radio station in America. In Washington, D.C., the Jim Bohannon show is carried on WFED, 1500 AM. The show can also be heard live on KDKA's website.
For more information about the Jim Bohannon Show, go to www.jimbotalk.net. A full listing of stations in your area is on that website.
The following day the entire interview with Peter will be streamed on our website, www.buses.org.
Gaylord Entertainment Co. announced that it has agreed to sell the Gaylord Hotels brand and the rights to manage its four hotels to Marriott International, Inc. for $210 million in cash. Following the sale, Gaylord will continue to own its hotel properties and other businesses and will reorganize as a real estate investment trust (REIT) effective January 1, 2013. The Company will be the only lodging REIT focused primarily on group-oriented destination hotels in urban and resort markets.
Colin V. Reed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated, "We are pleased to be announcing a transaction that we believe allows shareholders the potential to realize maximum long-term value for their shares in Gaylord Entertainment. Moreover, we believe that by working with Marriott International, our shareholders will benefit from significant property efficiencies and corporate overhead reductions, as well as revenue synergies which include Marriott's ability to attract and market to large group customers."
Upon consummation of the transaction, Gaylord Hotels will join the Marriott portfolio of brands. Terms of the management agreement call for Marriott to manage the four one-of-a-kind properties under the Gaylord Hotels flag.
Reed continued, "We are thrilled to be aligning with Marriott , an organization that consistently receives the industry's highest praise among group customers and meeting planners. With their expansive sales force and unique benefits such as the Marriott Rewards program, we also expect that they will be able to drive additional transient demand at our properties. This relationship ensures that the commitment to a distinctive guest experience that is the hallmark of the Gaylord brand will continue in force."
Gaylord recently commissioned a survey of over 400 meeting planners to evaluate hotel company managers in the meetings business. Marriott International ranked as the undisputed top brand in terms of loyalty programs, pricing structure, meeting space, sales process, accommodations, and destinations.
Gaylord will continue to own and operate the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and other attractions as taxable REIT subsidiaries.
SOURCE: Gaylord Entertainment Co.
The American Bus Association and Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) are co-hosting an informational webinar June 7th for motorcoach and tour operators facing the rapidly rising costs of doing business.
With the prospect of record fuel prices looming on the horizon, tour operators and motorcoach operators need to work together to find ways to mitigate these anticipated increased costs and other new charges brought forward by tourist destinations such as trip permits, parking fees, and venue reservation fees, while working to meet the needs of their student and youth travelers.
In this session sponsored by Fleet One, you will hear presentations from our distinguished panel of motorcoach operators, tour operators and legal counsel, represented by Mr. Doug Anderson, Mr. Brian Nowak and Mr. Rodney Gould, Esq.
During this webinar you will learn the legal requirements for implementing surcharges and how a tour operator and a motorcoach operator can work together to manage these costs and effectively communicate with their clients. You will also be given access to tools and programs to keep up with and mitigate some of these rapidly changing costs.
Working Together: Tour Operators & Motorcoach Operators, Dealing with Rising Variable Costs
Date: Thursday, June 7, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT
Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat today.
By Kathy Finn (Reuters) - May 27, 2012
The Gulf Coast is a hot destination again two years after the massive BP Plc oil spill made the region a tourist dead zone, with the petroleum giant pumping more than $150 million into promotions to help the region recover.
In New Orleans, about 150 miles northeast of where BP's well blew up on April 20, 2010, the period since more than 4 million barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico has seen a frenzy of tourism efforts.
"Tourism doesn't happen on its own, it takes marketing dollars, particularly if you're battling an image crisis like the oil spill," New Orleans convention and visitor bureau spokeswoman Kelly Schultz said.
A chunk of the $15 million BP initially sent to Louisiana in June 2010 funded emergency advertising to quell misperceptions that New Orleans was laden with oil, and Schultz says it worked. Hotel tax collections in the third quarter of 2010 jumped 33 percent from year-earlier figures.
Since then, BP has sent more than $150 million to Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to aid tourism, and will shell out close to $30 million more by the end of 2013. Another $82 million was committed for seafood marketing and testing, BP spokesman Craig Savage said.
It is hard to tell how effective the dollars have been.
Data from international market analyst Smith Travel Research Inc. show that occupancy in hotels within 10 miles of the Gulf Coast was 11 percent higher in the first quarter of this year as compared with the same quarter in 2010, immediately before the oil spill. Average daily hotel room rates rose 7 percent in that period.
But hotel occupancy and room rates nationwide rose by similar rates, the figures show. And along the Texas coast - where the oil spill had no direct impact and BP provided no marketing money - hotel occupancy rose 15 percent during the same period.
HOW HOT IS IT?
It is not clear whether states most affected by the oil spill still lag behind others as tourism improves nationally. "The question is really hard to answer," Smith Travel Research senior analyst Jan Freitag said.
What is clear is that visitors are returning to some places with a vengeance. Hotel occupancy in New Orleans jumped 3 percent and average room rates shot up 13 percent just in the first quarter of this year, said Freitag.
"That's a lot," he said.
To the east, along the white sand shores of the Florida panhandle, Walton County tourism Director Jon Ervin is marveling over a tourism boom that has pushed hotel room tax revenue up almost 60 percent since 2010. "You go back and check your math because you can hardly believe it," he said.
Ervin said the initial funding from BP - Florida received the largest portion among the four states - helped speed the area's recovery after tar balls appeared on local beaches.
But farther south, in Fort Myers, Florida, the picture is different. Lee County tourism bureau Director Tamara Pigott said that even though oil never reached local beaches, the area took a hit.
"The phones stopped ringing after the oil spill," she said.
Her agency immediately spent $750,000 from emergency reserves on advertising to counter public misperceptions about Fort Myers resorts. An additional $500,000 arrived courtesy of BP, but Pigott said it was not enough to restore the area's previously surging business.
She said the agency now is forced to spend heavily on advertising to keep up with destinations to the north that received a much larger boost from BP.
"I don't feel we benefited from the BP advertising money," she said.
But BP's promotion continues. Unrelated to the marketing money the company has sent to coastal states, BP has funded its own "Voices from the Gulf" television, radio and social media campaign. Savage would not disclose how much BP is spending on the campaign, but he said its mission is "to promote Gulf Coast tourism and highlight what we have accomplished to date."
(Editing by Greg McCune)
Springfield, MA. Peter A. Picknelly is pleased to announce that effective May 15, 2012, Mr. Brian R. Stefano has been appointed as the new President and Chief Financial Officer of Peter Pan Bus Lines. This marks the first time in the almost 80-year history of Peter Pan that a non-Picknelly will serve as the company’s President.
Mr. Picknelly has now assumed the title of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, a position that remained vacant since the passing of his father, Peter L. Picknelly, former Chairman and CEO from January, 1964 through October, 2004. With Brian Stefano at the helm as Peter Pan’s new President, Chairman Picknelly will still be greatly involved with the bus company; but will also be able to devote more of his energy to the operations of other Picknelly family-owned businesses, such as Camfour and Belts Technologies. In addition, Mr. Picknelly plans to further the advancement of OPAL, the real estate development arm of his business, with particular emphasis on projects benefiting the revitalization of Springfield.
As President, Mr. Stefano will oversee the day-to-day operations of Peter Pan and its affiliated businesses, encompassing intercity motorcoach service and facilities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Greater New York/New Jersey and Washington, DC locations.
According to Mr. Picknelly, “Brian Stefano has proven to be a highly dedicated, loyal and very valuable member of our senior management team since first joining Peter Pan as our Controller over 23 years ago. His proficiency and expertise in corporate operations, bus revenue management, business administration and employee relations, has demonstrated his capability to serve as our company’s President and CFO. I have every confidence that Mr. Stefano’s contributions and leadership will continue to keep Peter Pan Bus Lines in the forefront of our industry as THE innovative and customer-driven transportation provider in the Northeast.”
Brian Stefano is an alumnus of Western New England College, an Accounting major, and earned his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. He resides in his hometown of Westfield with his wife, Jennie and two daughters, Brittany and Lindsay.
Privately held Peter Pan Bus Lines serves over 100 communities throughout the Northeast corridor with daily express service, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC.
SOURCE: Peter Pan Bus Lines
By Lindsey Robbins, Staff Writer (The Gazette, Gaithersburg, MD) - May 25, 2012
Fourteen years after joining his family's bus and travel company, Matthew Eyre is ready to take the wheel as president.
This year, Eyre Bus, Tour and Travel of Glenelg will use its 58 buses and 120 employees to transport more than 800,000 passengers from Howard, Montgomery and Baltimore counties. The 65-year-old company expects to exceed $12 million in revenues for fiscal 2013, said Eyre's father, CEO Ronald Eyre.
Eyre Bus provides bus and travel agency services. Its top three tour destinations are Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.
Ronald Eyre said his parents, Harry and Mary K. Eyre, founded the business more than 65 years ago, operating one school bus out of their backyard. Mary Eyre, now 87, attended the ceremony announcing her grandson's promotion to president.
"It's a real honor to have an opportunity to come into the family business, and it's also very fun," said Matthew Eyre, 37. "We've always been big on team effort, and I really enjoy that team aspect."
Ronald Eyre called the decision to name his son president a "natural evolution."
"He has excellent personal skills and his customer service is at the highest level. He's worked in every department," Ronald Eyre said. "When I started considering this two years ago, I asked all my managers what they thought of Matt and everyone said, 'Yes.' I felt comfortable laying out an action plan to turn the day-to-day operations over to him."
Matthew Eyre takes over at a time when a bus costs about $500,000 to buy, requiring his company to try to keep its fleet on the road as long as possible through regular maintenance and the occasional interior makeovers, he said. The company typically can run a bus for 15 to 20 years; the average capacity is 56 passengers. The company began using a new Statue of Liberty wrap on the vehicles a few years ago.
Eyre Bus also has expanded its safety audits to include those by the Transportation Safety Exchange, which focuses on university and college transportation, in addition to its usual insurance, federal and state audits, the Eyres said.
Another component of enhancing bus value is continually training drivers to work with new technologies, Matthew Eyre said.
Matthew Eyre said his particular expertise has been in marketing, especially social media. In his new role, he expects to boost the company's presence through websites dedicated to each pickup area and ramping up online reviews.
Matthew Eyre is the only one of Ronald Eyre's three children to take up the family business. He came to Eyre Bus after spending two years with Vail Associates in Colorado, working the ski mountain and golf course.
"I did a lot of customer work there," he said.
He started at Eyre Bus in the tour department, planning and packaging bus tours, before moving on to other departments.
"He's very personable but professional. He takes his business and his family seriously," said Jaime Shaffer-Mickley, student services manager for Omni Corp. in Emmitsburg. Omni contracts transportation services for the National Emergency Training Center, handling trips for up to 400 students.
Shaffer-Mickley said most of her conversations with Matthew Eyre have involved serious issues.
"But we always end up laughing by the end," she said. "He's very down-to-earth."
Back in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, Omni worked with Eyre Bus to mobilize about 1,000 emergency personnel for training on 24 hours' notice, Shaffer-Mickley said.
"Without Eyre, it would've been even more of a disaster. Eyre pulled it off without any complaints," she said.
Goucher College uses Eyre Bus to transport its 19 sports teams throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
"Whenever a situation arises, they listen to us," said Nina Zacharias, secretary of the athletic department at the Baltimore college. "They really care about our teams."
Zacharias recalls when Eyre Bus once brought a vehicle to Vermont to pick up students from an airport.
"They can turn on a dime," she said of the company’s flexibility.
Although Eyre Bus has experienced challenges from the Great Recession and slow recovery — especially with its fuel costs rising $367,000 during the last three months to $1.5 million — the company also has grown its charter and commuter business, Ronald Eyre said.
Within the last three years, Eyre Bus picked up three new university contracts and has seen its charter business reach "record growth," he said. Charters account for 70 percent of the company's business; the rest is from commuters.
The opening of the Intercounty Connector from Interstate 95 in Laurel to Montgomery County has led to a 5 percent revenue increase and a new commuter route, Ronald Eyre said.
"The repeat business is unbelievable. If you ride with us, you're going to stay with us," Matthew Eyre said. "Our name is on the side of that bus, and we want our customers to be happy."
ABA's Pete Pantuso will join panelists June 11th for a public policy forum on transportation safety in the Northeast and again June 13th for a forum on the curbside bus industry.
Transportation Safety Forum
The June 11th forum is held in conjunction with the 2012 Conference for the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO) in Baltimore, Maryland.
Pantuso will join a panel of safety experts for the session "Safety in the Northeast Region," scheduled between 3:15 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Curbside Bus Industry Forum
The June 13th forum is sponsored by the University of Delaware's Institute for Public Administration (IPA), in cooperation with the University of Delaware's University Transportation Center (UD-UTC).
The curbside intercity bus industry, which includes companies like BoltBus and MegaBus, provides low-cost and convenient means of travel between major urban centers including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., Philadelphia, Pa., New York City, N.Y., and Boston, Mass.
IPA invites the public to participate in the forum on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, from 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the University of Delaware, Perkins Student Center in Newark, Del.
To register for the forum, click here and complete this form by June 4, 2012.
By Robert Swift (The Scranton Times Tribune) - May 29, 2012
HARRISBURG, PA - Creating an independent state tourism commission and adding more reporting requirements for county hotel room tax revenue are among recommendations in a new study on ways to help one of Pennsylvania's largest industries.
The study by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a legislative research agency, appears during a time of the greatest change for tourism promotion in Pennsylvania in the past 30 years.
State spending to promote tourism, which increased steadily from the early 1980s onward to double-digit numbers, has dropped dramatically in the past several years due to tight budgets.
The current state budget appropriation is $4 million and Gov. Tom Corbett has proposed $3 million, or a $1 million cut, for fiscal 2012-13. A Senate-approved state budget bill appropriates $3.8 million.
A 50-year-old state subsidy to help regional tourism promotion agencies pay for ad campaigns ended this fiscal year, a victim of state budget cuts.
As state support declined, tourism promotion agencies have come to rely more heavily on hotel room tax revenues. A 2000 state law gave midsize counties authority to levy such a tax and set conditions for how revenue could be spent.
Almost 70 percent of the income for 45 tourism promotion agencies in midsize counties comes from the hotel room tax, the center study said. The amounts ranged from a low of $10,500 in rural Cameron County to $2.8 million in Monroe County, the heart of the Poconos.
In addition, larger counties operate under specific state laws regarding hotel room taxes.
The House approved legislation in April, paving the way for a rate hike in the Lackawanna County hotel room tax. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Ed Staback, D-115, Archbald, would give the county commissioners the green light to increase the tax from the current 4 percent rate to a maximum 7 percent rate.
The bill changes the distribution formula so that 40 percent of the revenue goes to the Lackawanna County Convention and Visitors Bureau and 60 percent to the county. Under current state law, 20 percent of the revenue goes to the convention bureau and 80 percent to the county.
State government will eventually have to reassert its traditional role in supporting regional tourism, said Rep. Mario Scavello, R-176, Mount Pocono, a member of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee.
"As the economy turns around, the state needs to be a player in this too," he added. "You can't just depend on hotel room revenues."
The state should consider reviving a program that lets Tourism Promotion Agencies compete for state funding and provide a local matching share, said Mr. Scavello.
The study views giving a state Tourism Commission an umbrella role to promote national and state heritage parks and corridors, state-owned historic sites and festivals, fairs and performing arts centers.
The commission could operate with some state funding and perhaps a small earmark from hotel room tax revenue, the study added.
Bills to establish a commission have been in the legislative hopper for a number of years.
The study also urges handling county room tax revenue like state sales tax revenue. Hotels would turn over the revenue to the state Revenue Department on a quarterly basis. The state would then reimburse the counties, which in turn would give the money to the Tourism Promotion Agencies.
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is launching a website for visitors to sample the state's musical offerings and plan a music-themed vacation.
The site is www.LouisianaSoundtrack.com. A news release from Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne's office says it contains audio and video of indigenous music including jazz, Cajun and zydeco.
Read the article in The Washington Post.
Does your new fiscal year begin July 1st? Don't worry--you can lock in your Marketplace registration today and wait to pay!
Why register now? Early registration can give your company a preferred appointment code, which will help you get more appointments at the show. Click here to register today.
Marketplace 2013, January 5th-9th in Charlotte, NC, is the first and most valued travel show of the year. And a new study proves that you can't afford to miss it.
A study by John Dunham and Associates following Marketplace, 2012 in Grapevine, Texas showed that the event generated a total of $78,790,000 worth of booked business for show participants.
"Marketplace is all about generating business for our members, and this study proves that we were very successful at accomplishing this goal during the 2012 show and I am certain Charlotte will be bigger and better. " said ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS.
The study results also revealed that many companies expected to book a large amount of business after Marketplace thanks to the contacts they made at the show. Respondents reported that they anticipated generating an average of $58,065 worth of business after they left Grapevine.
Motorcoach Marketer proofs were recently emailed to every member company's primary contact. Corrections or additional listings are due by August 6, 2012. Visit our Motorcoach Marketer page to learn more and review your listing.
The Motorcoach Marketer, ABA's 500-page annual membership directory, features detailed contact and tour information on every ABA motorcoach and tour operator, member hotel, attraction, restaurant, museum, destination and DMO.
Every state and provincial tourism office is detailed as well as important contact information about travel industry and supplier members. Bus and tour operators use the Motorcoach Marketer daily to plan tours, explore new destinations, and treat their groups to entertaining attractions and quality products. DMOs and destinations use the Marketer to source bus, tour and charter suppliers.
The committee that will select the 2013 Top 100 Events in North America is meeting this week in Essex, Vermont. Check out our sponsors of the meeting, and look for the committee's selections to be announced this September!
ABA's Top 100 Events in North America is an annual compendium of the best events for group travel in the United States and Canada. Each spring, a committee of ABA-member motorcoach and tour operators selects the Top 100 Events for the subsequent year. Winners are chosen from hundreds of celebrations, festivals, fairs, commemorative events, and more that have been nominated by ABA members. From among the winners, ABA names the Number One Event for both the United States and Canada.
ABA launched the Top 100 program in 1982 to help motorcoach and tour operators plan itineraries.
Now in its 31st year, the Top 100 Events receive worldwide attention via the media--television, radio, and print--such as USA Today and CNN. ABA distributes some 10,000 copies of the Top 100 Events in North America magazine, featuring the winners, to all of its members and to thousands of travelers worldwide.
Learn more about the Top 100 Events in North America.
The GroupConnect staff is finalizing the summer and fall travel schedule in their efforts to promote ABA and OMCA members through their online products. Staff also continues to make upgrades to the websites in their efforts to bring more visitors to the sites.
If you haven't opted in for CharterBusConnect.com or GroupTravelConnect.com, you may be missing out on potential group business from qualified buyers of group travel. More and more consumers are utilizing the online services which provide these valuable member benefits. Contact GroupConnect at 866-644-1664 or email@example.com for more information.
ABA warmly welcomes the following new members who recently joined the Association. Be sure to print and add these companies to your 2012 ABA Motorcoach Marketer!
Allegany County Tourism
Kim Shirer, Dir. of Trsm. Programs
13 Canal Pl., Rm. 306
Cumberland, MD 21502
PH: (301) 777-5134
Fax: (301) 777-5137
DMO - Convention & Visitors Bureaus
Courtyard by Marriott Denver Southwest Lakewood
Corey Lozano, Dir. of Sales
7180 W. Hampden Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80227
PH: (303) 985-9696
Fax: (303) 985-1257
The Dali Museum
Yvonne Marrullier, Sales & Mktg.
One Dali Blvd.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
PH: (727) 823-3767
Fax: (727) 894-6068
Iowa Pacific Passenger Trains
Sarah Munley, Dir. of Sales & Mktg.
118 S. Clinton, Ste. 400
Chicago, IL 60661
PH: (312) 878-6652
Attraction - Other
Jackson County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Jennifer Hill, Sales & Mktg. Mgr.
141 S. Jackson St.
Jackson, MI 49201
PH: (517) 764-4440
Fax: (517) 780-3688
DMO - Convention & Visitors Bureaus
Main Street Lake Cruises
Cindy Thomas, Dir. Sales & Mktg.
7 N. Boardwalk
Branson, MO 65616
PH: (417) 239-3980
Fax: (417) 239-3764
Attraction - Other
Tourist Services LLC.
Kari Bullman, Admin. Dir.
360 Rainbow Blvd. S., 7th Fl.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
PH: (716) 804-0008
Fax: (716) 625-1303
Attraction - Other
The following Motorcoach & Tour Operators have submitted application(s) for membership between May 14, 2012, and May 27, 2012, and have met all membership requirements. They are currently in the mandatory 30-day period for member comments. Should members have comments regarding these applications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonjour USA Tours
Serif Akturk, Purchasing Dir.
New York, NY
(DOT #: 1605939)
Karim Johnson, Owner
Front Range Ski Bus
(DOT #: 1842325)
Martin Beran, Chief Mktg. Off.
Royal Tours Inc.
Gaynelle Riddick, Owner
Wescan Charter Bus Lines
(DOT #: 1412552)
Michael Zhao, Pres.