Albuquerque, NM (Sept. 9, 2010) - The American Bus Association (ABA) announced today that the Gathering of Nations Native American Powwow, the world’s largest gathering of Native American and indigenous people, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2011 by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee. Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicates that Gathering of Nations offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, according to ABA. Each year, the magazine also recognizes the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta as an Internationally Known Event. These events, which accompany the Top 100 listings, are North American perennial favorites that have timeless popularity and international appeal.

With the release of the American Bus Association's 2011 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 29 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 attractiveness of the Gathering of Nations Native American Powwow as a don't-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for Albuquerque,” said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA's president and CEO. "The real news here is that Gathering of Nations has been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives Albuquerque 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 US $5,000 to more than US $13,000 in a local destination's economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

"Gathering of Nations and Balloon Fiesta are signature events in Albuquerque that - in both prosperous and turbulent economic times - have remained cornerstones of leisure travel to our city," said Dale Lockett, President/CEO of the Visit Albuquerque. “The ABA designation helps to bring even more visibility to Albuquerque. We congratulate these world-class events that have taken place here in our own community for decades.”

ABA's 2011 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected Gathering of Nations Native American Powwow from among a record number of more than 650 event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the event's 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