MONTPELIER, Vt. — The American Bus Association selected Vermont as the site of its Top 100 Committee Meeting, being held June 3-6, marking the first official ABA meeting held in the state. Sixteen tourism industry professionals gathered to select the top 100 events and festivals in North America.
The Top 100 Committee Meeting is sponsored by Custom Tours, Vermont Tourism Network and Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing. The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort and Spa, donated lodging for three nights. Premier Coach is supplying transportation, and various motorcoach-friendly businesses are sponsoring the group’s meals.
Linda Edelman, president of Vermont-based Custom Tours, who has served on the Top 100 Committee for three years, saw and encouraged the opportunity to hold this meeting in Vermont. “Vermont companies have the ability to showcase their motorcoach-friendly business to key decision makers,” Edelman said. “This meeting also highlights summer as an ideal time to visit Vermont, encouraging tour operators to promote the summer season in addition to the peak fall foliage season.”
Tour operators who have participated on the committee in the past two years include Mayflower Tours, Anderson Coach & Travel, Bieber Transportation, Badger Coaches, Inc., and Shafer’s Tour and Travel. Vermont welcomes 13.7 million visitors annually; many are part of organized bus groups. ABA data reports the motorcoach tourism industry’s direct economic impact is about $719 million in Vermont.
“We chose Vermont as our meeting destination because it offers numerous opportunities for tours during every season of the year, and because of its excellent hospitality,” said Peter Pantuso, president and CEO of the ABA. “This is a great opportunity for ABA’s operators to experience the best of Vermont so they can incorporate more top-quality Vermont attractions and communities into their future tour itineraries.”
The ABA represents 1,000 motorcoach and tour companies in the U.S. and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 member organizations represent the travel and tourism industry and suppliers of bus products and services.
Source: Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing