Industry prepares for January’s ABA Marketplace

Bus industry professionals are preparing for the annual American Bus Association’s Marketplace, being held from Jan. 6-10 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, TX.

The ABA’s Marketplace is the premier business event for the group travel industry that brings buyers and sellers face-to-face in prescheduled seven-minute appointments. In addition to this quality time, Marketplace offers professional education seminars that bring operators up to speed on the latest issues, developments and best practices within the motorcoach and travel tour industries. More than 300 operator companies attend Marketplace.

“We are very happy and excited to once again coming to Grapevine and the Gaylord Texan for this huge event,” said Peter J. Pantuso, president and CEO of the American Bus Association. “Our members have said many times they’re always treated so well at any Gaylord hotel and the Gaylord Texan is no exception. The Grapevine CVB, GRACE (a local non-profit called Grapevine Relieve and Community Exchange) and everyone else who has helped organize and build Marketplace 2012 can’t wait to experience more of that traditional Texas hospitality.”

The Marketplace comes at a time when motorcoach travel is increasing nationwide, up for the fifth year in a row. A just released study by DePaul University of Chicago shows daily curbside departures climbed 7.1 percent in 2011. Motorcoach travel ranks second, just behind airline travel as the more people in North America are leaving their car keys at home and riding luxury motorcoaches to get to work, take a business trip, travel with friends or go on a vacation.

“Motorcoach travel is the greenest form of transportation and with most motorcoaches now having free Wi-Fi, plug-ins and luxury accommodations, our industry is seeing solid steady growth,” Pantuso said. “It’s against this backdrop that Marketplace is coming to Grapevine.”

The Washington, DC-based trade association represents nearly 4,000 motorcoach companies, tour operators, destinations, hotels and other tourism professionals.