WASHINGTON, D.C. — GroupConnect.com, a new joint venture by the American Bus Association and the Ontario Motor Coach Association, recently selected veteran travel industry leader James J. Palmeri as the managing director of the online portal designed to be a one-stop shop for group travel needs.
Palmeri joins the organization as it prepares for its launch. As GroupConnect’s managing director, Palmeri will develop and execute a strategic business plan; manage product development and marketing plans; build coalitions to achieve broad third-party stakeholder outreach; and serve as the group’s primary media spokesperson.
Palmeri most recently served as managing director of Travel Alliance Partners, LLC (TAP) from 2005-2009. TAP, a marketing cooperative of North America’s top tour operators, also was a start-up when Palmeri joined as its first professional staffer. While at TAP, Palmeri was instrumental in developing a business blueprint from the organization’s strategic plan, the major components of which he subsequently executed.
“Jim Palmeri’s blend of motorcoach and group tour experience, his relationships with the tour and travel industries across North America, and his expertise in launching a successful new group travel start-up, make him the ideal person to lead GroupConnect,” OMCA President Brian Crow said.
“When it comes to tourism, Jim Palmeri has done it all,” said ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. “He has developed the tour, driven the bus, managed 350 buses and 600 drivers during the Salt Lake Olympic Games, and developed innovative training programs for the hospitality industry and CVBs, among many other accomplishments.”
“GroupConnect is going to alter the group tour and travel landscape by offering digital tools that streamline each step of the process,” Palmeri said. “GroupConnect will turbocharge everything from tour & itinerary planning to booking business by seamlessly shifting tourism tools of the trade from desks to desktop PCs.”
GroupConnect, incorporated in Delaware, is geared to be a breakthrough technological innovation in how tour and travel business gets done. As an online B2B tool, time-consuming phone calls and paperwork will be replaced by high-speed Internet that moves at warp speed. Networking, target marketing, booking, billing and business-building will become more efficient and and maximize return on investments.
Source: American Bus Association