With the release of the American Bus Association's 2015 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 33 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 Albuquerque's winning events as don't-miss entertainment values is only part of why their 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 these events have 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 Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave up to $25,000 in a local destination's economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.
"Tour groups spend more and stay longer," Pantuso said. "That's why these events are truly a local economic asset. There is no better way to jump-start tourism than to attract motorcoach groups to great events and convince them to extend their stay."
ABA's 2015 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected Albuquerque's winning events from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the events' broad appeal, accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.
ABA also gives special recognition to annual events that 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.
The Top 100 Events list is available online at www.buses.org/Top100.