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Media Release

Published: 09/11/2013
Gathering of Nations Contact: Sarah Hattman APR,, 919.234.6698 ACVB Contact: Kelly Ryan, 505.222.4340

American Bus Association names Gathering of Nations, Balloon Fiesta among North America's 100 Best Events for 2014

Events draw thousands to Albuquerque and are critical group tourism dollars
Albuquerque (Sept. 11, 2013 ) - The American Bus Association (ABA) has announced that once again the Gathering of Nations Native American Powwow and The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta have been designated top events for group travel in the United States and Canada. ABA's "Top 100 Events in North America" list is published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine.

The Gathering of Nations Native American Powwow was awarded ABA recognition by an expert tourism industry committee. The committee selects winners each spring from hundreds of nominated fairs, festivals, parades, exhibits, theaters and shows. The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau nominated the Gathering of Nations for this recognition.

ABA also gives special recognition to "Annual Events," which have been consistently selected as part of the Top 100 Events list. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has once again been recognized for this list as it attracts continual group and motorcoach business and offers international appeal.

With the release of the American Bus Association's 2014 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 32 years of the program. What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.

"The real news here is that Gathering of Nations & Balloon Fiesta have been recognized as a potential magnets for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy," said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA's president and CEO. "The honor gives these events an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners."

According to studies completed by researchers at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave from $5,000 to $11,000 in a local destination's economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

"Motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer,” Pantuso said. “That's why these events are truly local economic assets. There is no better way to jump-start tourism than to attract motorcoach groups to a great event and convince them to extend their stay."

ABA's 2014 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected Gathering of Nations and The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the events' broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.

The Top 100 Events list is available online at
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