April 19, 2011

ABA, OMCA hold first joint tour operator summit

Representatives from more than 100 companies packed the first ever Tour Operator Summit hosted by the American Bus Association (ABA) and the Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) March 30 and 31, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y.

The OMCA/ABA Tour Operator Summit featured educational seminars, business sessions, networking events and a mini-trade show. Forty-five bus and tour operator and 77 tour supplier members of both organizations from both sides of the border attended the event.

“The location brought the borders issues to the forefront and the feedback from both the operators and suppliers has been extremely positive,” said OMCA President Brian Crow. “And, we thank our title sponsors the Turning Stone Resort & Casino and New York State Tourism for their gracious hospitality in hosting this vital event.”

“We received valuable insight from both U.S. — and Canadian-based tour operators at this event, due to their active participation,” said ABA President/CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. “This summit addressed issues that included tour trends and demographic developments, U.S.-Canadian border crossing issues; social networking and much more.”

The two-day Summit included an perator-to-operator session (both OMCA and ABA tour operators) and a mini-trade show featuring tour and travel partners, as well as educational seminars covering tour trends and demographic shifts in group travel. The summit also covered the timely topics of border crossing issues; online business building using GroupConnect; social networking; and U.S. and Canadian liability concerns.

OMCA and ABA are currently evaluating all aspects of the Summit and working with participants to make recommendations of future joint efforts to build on its success.

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