GETTYSBURG, Penn. — Reflections of History Event that will mark the 150th anniversary of the decisive Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 is the American Bus Association’s 2013 “Number One U.S. Event for Motorcoaches.”
The annual Calgary Stampede was named “The Best Event in Canada.”
Beginning with the Battle of Gettysburg and continuing later in November when President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing more than four million slaves, the events of 1863 are considered some of the most important in U.S. history.
An estimated 15,000 motorcoaches bring visitors to Gettysburg each year. Officials estimate that, because of the events in the summer of 2013, they expect a 30% increase in tourism-related business. The battlefield, the site of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the historic Evergreen Cemetery and the home of President and Mrs. Eisenhower, where they lived after his return from Europe until his death, are some of the main attractions.
The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The 10-day event, which bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” attracts more than one million visitors each year and features one of the world's largest rodeos, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuck wagon racing and First Nations exhibitions. The Calgary Stampede’s roots go back as far as 1886, and it has grown into one of the world's richest rodeos, one of Canada's largest festivals and a significant tourist attraction for the city.
Now in its 31st year, The Top 100 Events in North America is published as a guide for travel professionals and the general public to use when planning group tours and vacations. Each spring, the Top 100 selection committee, which is comprised of group travel professionals, selects the winners from among hundreds of nominated fairs, festivals, parades, exhibits, theaters and shows based on their broad appeal, accessibility to large groups arriving by motorcoach and other criteria.
Although ABA does not rank the events, it does give special recognition to “Annual Events.” Annual Events receive separate recognition because they have been consistently selected as a Top 100 Event in North America, continually attract group and motorcoach business and offer international appeal.
There is also a new feature in this year’s Top 100 Events in North America for Group Travel. ABA’s “Events to Watch” feature was created by a panel of ABA member bus and tour operators to highlight events and festivals that were not selected as a “Top 100 Event” but are great examples of new motorcoach-friendly events that show potential to become future “Top 100 Events.”
ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso said, “The events of Gettysburg in 1863 wrote a new chapter in American history, and ABA is proud it was selected as the number one event in the U.S. The national and international image of Calgary is very closely tied to the Stampede, generating more than $225 million for the regional economy.”
“The events included in the 2013 Top 100 represent the best of the diverse array of group travel attractions available to motorcoach groups throughout the continent,” Pantuso said.
The Top 100 Events for Motorcoaches was published as a special supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine. You can also find a full listing of the winners at http://www.buses.org/News-Publications/Top-100.
More than 1,000 motorcoach owner and tour company members in the U.S. and Canada.