On Wednesday, the American Bus Association (ABA) and the Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) announced the official launch of CharterBusConnect.com, an online portal to book group travel that offers the distinction of no consumer fees and no middlemen. The new business-building tool for ABA & OMCA members expands on the benefits provided by GroupConnect.com.
CharterBusConnect.com’s database lists only those operators that own bus fleets. It allows users to request multiple quotes at once from many charter operators. With more than 4,200 total companies listed, including travel partners, it has the greatest industry reach for searching online.
No middlemen or brokers are involved in transactions; requests go straight from consumers to bus companies. Company profiles on the site include their safety records, insurance coverage levels, and the peace of mind that each has been vetted as an ABA or OMCA member to ensure they are responsible operators.
CharterBusConnect.com also offers a mapping function for consumers to find companies in their area quickly; the option of requesting and receiving information from regional tour operators, destinations and CVBs; a weather widget providing forecasts in chosen destinations up to 360 days in advance of trips; a video spokesperson who stresses the safety, reliability and reputation of using ABA & OMCA member companies over any “lowest price” offer; and much more.
“CharterBusConnect.com provides operators access to the largest network of tour and coach operators in North America,” said Michael Colborne, Chairman of GroupConnect.com and President of Calgary, Alberta-based Pacific Western Transportation. “For the special ABA-OMCA rate of only $99, operators can book more charter bus business for under $2 a seat.”
“This OMCA-ABA venture is going to be the Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline of motorcoaches all in one place on the web,” said OMCA President Brian Crow, speaking to a standing-room-only crowd of member bus and tour operators, travel partners and equipment suppliers at OMCA’s annual Marketplace in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
“This will redefine the way charter bus business is done,” said ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. “It provides better reach to the motorcoach, tourism and group travel industry. And CharterBusConnect.com offers an additional sales channel for charter bus operators.”