Photo courtesy of the American Bus Association.
More than 3,400 American Bus Association (ABA) member delegates and industry professionals packed Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the first group travel show of the year, the 2011 American Bus Marketplace in Philadelphia.
“It was an honor to hold Marketplace in a world-class city like Philadelphia,” said John
Percy, Marketplace 2011 Chairman. “I want to thank the Pennsylvania Convention
Center, our Philadelphia region tourism partners and all of the sponsors and volunteers for making this such a fabulous show.”
Marketplace is the premier business event for the group travel industry. The core of the
show are the appointments where buyers, who are bus owners and tour operators, come to meet with sellers, who are travel industry representatives from destination marketing organizations (cities, areas, states), attractions, restaurants, receptive operators, hotels and associate service suppliers. These business sessions allow buyers and sellers to plan trip itineraries for motorcoach group travel throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“I spoke with hundreds of delegates during the show, and, without exception, they raved about the quality of their appointments,” said ABA President/CEO Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS. “A lot of people told me this was the best Marketplace they’ve been to. They made the connections at this show that will allow them to have a successful 2011.”
More than 100 Networking Floor booths were hosted by sponsors who offered food,
drink and prizes throughout the week. The Networking Floor has become an integral part of Marketplace week, offering delegates the chance to network in a more relaxed and casual environment.
Product Pavilion, a microshow that gives equipment and service providers the
opportunity to meet operators face-to-face, was another highlight of Marketplace 2011.
This year's Product Pavilion had 63 exhibitors, which is more than double the number of exhibitors since the start of the show.
Delegates to Marketplace also contributed more than $45,000 to the Alex’s Lemonade
Stand Foundation (ALSF) as part of the Marketplace Gives Back program. ALSF is a
charity dedicated to finding a cure for all forms of childhood cancer. To date, ALSF has
raised over $35 million dollars and funds more than 150 research projects nationally.
Next year Marketplace will return to Grapevine, Texas.
In 2013, the show will head to Charlotte, N.C., and then to Nashville, Tenn., in 2014.