American Bus Association Thanks St. Louis for a Great ABA Marketplace (January 20, 2015)
The American Bus Association and the more than 3,300 delegates who attended the ABA’s Marketplace wish to thank its great host, the people and leaders of St. Louis. The people of St. Louis rolled out the red carpet for ABA. St. Louis Convention and Visitor’s Commission President Kitty Ratcliffe, her staff along with the countless others made this a great Marketplace. ABA would also like to thank this year’s Marketplace Chairman, Camilla Morris and the many people who volunteered.
Senator Blunt Visited Marketplace
ABA was honored to host United States Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri at Marketplace on Saturday, January 10. Senator Blunt toured the Marketplace floor and met with travel and tourism delegates, members of the ABA Board of Directors, and ABA’s leadership.
"ABA wishes to thank Senator Blunt for spending part of his day with delegates and the ABA Board," said ABA President/CEO Peter Pantuso. "His support of our industry is well known, and this was a great opportunity for delegates to tell him they value his efforts."
"Travel and tourism help grow jobs and the economy in Missouri and across America," said Senator Blunt. "I enjoyed speaking with the ABA members, the Board of Directors, and staff who gathered in St. Louis about their work in this important industry."
Highlights of ABA’s Marketplace
- The Board of Directors selected John Meier, the President of Badger Coaches in Madison, Wisconsin as the new ABA Chairman and Don DeVivo, the President of DATTCO in New Britain, Connecticut is the new Vice-Chairman. After three years as Chairman, Tom JeBran stepped down. He will continue to serve on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.
- ABA Media, Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Metro Magazine, BusRide Magazine, and Serendipity Media presented several awards. The awards recognized individuals and companies that have demonstrated leadership and innovation in the motorcoach, travel, and tourism industry.
- The Bus Industry Safety Council presented its first ever “Norm Littler Safety Award” to Pete Worthington, Vice President, DATTCO. The award recognized Pete for making a significant contribution to motorcoach passenger safety. The award honors Norm Littler, the late ABA Vice President for Safety and Regulatory Affairs, who died in 2013.
- DePaul University of Chicago and the school’s Chaddick Institute released its annual report showing the eighth consecutive year of growth for the scheduled service, point-to-point segment of the motorcoach industry. The report also detailed why free onboard amenities including Wi-Fi and 110 volt electric plug-ins, along with upgraded luxury service are expanding. The full report is attached.
- The annual meeting of the Bus Industry Safety Council, presented by ABC Companies, brought together more than one hundred leading safety and security experts in the industry. They discussed the best ways to make travel by motorcoach, already the safest form of surface transportation, even safer.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) held a listening sessions on FMCSA’s implementation of MAP-21 and the “Requirements for State Inspection Programs for Passenger Carrying Vehicles.”
- ABA and its motorcoach, travel and tourism members are helping the American economy grow. Research by the respected ABA Foundation shows motorcoach travel and tourism generates as many as 1.4 million jobs in communities across the United States, paying over $62 billion in wages and benefits. The U.S. Travel Association reports direct spending in the U.S. by domestic and international travelers was up nearly 4% in 2013 to $880 billion dollars. Here is a link to the ABA Foundation’s research page. http://bit.ly/1Kz6cZU
“ABA wishes to thank our motorcoach, travel and tourism colleagues in St. Louis for what will be remembered as a great Marketplace. ABA sets the tone for the year, when it comes to business growth and development, networking and professionally run educational seminars. There are also many opportunities to talk face-to-face with leading government and industry officials,” said ABA President/CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. “ABA is always working hard to create the environment where are our partners can meet, network and have excellent appointments to achieve a superior return on their investment.”