The ABA Marketplace will likely start the New Year with a vibrant showing for the ground transportation sector.
PHILADELPHIA — Despite the stagnant economy, attendance figures for the AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION's (ABA) Marketplace look strong and may even exceed previous year's figures.
The ABA Marketplace is the largest business-to-business show in the group travel industry. More than 3,000 members of the group travel industry will convene in Philadelphia from Jan. 8-12, 2011.
Attendees include tour operators, itinerary planners and other bulk “buyers” of travel and tourism services who have the decision-making power to steer group tours to Philadelphia. ABA is an appointment based show where customers meet one-on-one to discuss locations with tour operators.
ABA Marketplace attendance is estimated to generate about $10.8 million in economic impact for Philadelphia. Attendees are expected to use about 10,840 room nights.
“The strong attendance figure is great news for ABA,” said Fritz Smith, vice president of tourism, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB). “It's also a double play for the City of Philadelphia in terms of both the economic impact of the show and the opportunity to expose so many leaders in the group travel industry to the wonders of our great city.”
According to the ABA, the host city can expect to increase its group tourism business by 10% to 25% as a result of hosting the show. A fully loaded motorcoach (40 passengers on average) on a charter or tour making an overnight stay contributes an average of $5,000 to $13,000 per day to the local economy in expenditures, including meals, lodging, shopping, admission fees, souvenirs and local taxes.
“The American Bus Association Marketplace is unique in terms of the benefits it provides to the host city and surrounding region," said ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. "Unlike a dentists' convention, which comes to Philadelphia and spends money on hotels, dining and attractions and then leaves, bus and tour operators who will attend Marketplace 2011 Jan. 8-12 in Philadelphia will not only spend money during the event. They will bring back group tours for years to come, boosting Philadelphia's leisure travel revenue from hotels, restaurants, retail purchases and admission tickets to attractions that will all be showcased during Marketplace, ranging from dine-arounds to evening events at both traditional and new tourism offerings. When you have Marketplace in town, it's like having family. And Pennsylvania is also a major bus state.”
The AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry with more than 1,000 motorcoach owner and tour company members in the U.S. and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,600 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry. Visit www.buses.org for more information.
Sources: PCVB; ABA