ABOUT PHOTO: American Bus Association members and industry professionals pack the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia for the 2011 American Bus Marketplace.
SUMMARY: The 2011 American Bus Marketplace proved a success as bus owners and tour operators networked with other industry professionals to make the necessary connections for a successful year.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 3,400 AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION member delegates and industry professionals packed Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the first group travel show of the year, the 2011 AMERICAN BUS MARKETPLACE.
Marketplace is the premier business event for the group travel industry. The core of the show are the appointments where buyers — bus owners and tour operators — come to meet with sellers — travel industry representatives from destination marketing organizations (cities, areas, state), attractions, restaurants, receptive operators, hotels and associate service suppliers. These business sessions allow buyers and sellers to plan trip itineraries for motorcoach group travel throughout the United States and Canada.
“I spoke with hundreds of delegates during the show, and, without exception, they raved about the quality of their appointments,” said ABA President and CEO Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS. “A lot of people told me this was the best Marketplace they’ve been to. They made the connections at this show that will allow them to have a successful 2011.”
More than 100 Networking Floor booths were hosted by sponsors who offered food, drink and prizes throughout the week. The Networking Floor has become an integral part of Marketplace week, offering delegates the chance to network in a more relaxed and casual environment.
Product Pavilion, a microshow that gives equipment and servicer providers the opportunity to meet operators face-to-face, was another highlight of Marketplace 2011. This year Product Pavilion had 63 exhibitors, which is more than double the number of exhibitors since the start of the show.
Delegates to Marketplace also contributed more than $45,000 to ALEX’S LEMONADE STAND FOUNDATION (ALSF) as part of the Marketplace Gives Back program. ALSF is a charity dedicated to finding a cure for all forms of childhood cancer. To date, ALSF has raised more than $35 million and funds more than 150 research projects nationally.
Next year Marketplace will return to Grapevine, Texas. In 2013 the show will head to Charlotte, N.C., and then to Nashville, Tenn. in 2014.
Source: AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION