The American Bus Association Foundation (ABAF) — the largest non-profit organization in the group travel industry, with an emphasis on research and scholarships — concluded its Fall Board Meeting by committing to a way forward on engaging future leaders of the motorcoach, travel, and tour industry.
During the meeting, the Board of Governors pledged to continue using the American Bus Association’s (ABA) annual Marketplace as the focal point for raising funds for its Fund A Future scholarship campaign. Through the ABAF’s live and silent auctions, as well as the Afterglow event sponsored by the Hard Rock Cafe International and Prevost, the ABAF is able to donate more than $100,000 in scholarships to ABA members’ employees and their dependents, as well as future leaders in the industry studying in travel and tourism programs.
The Board also made the commitment of engaging students who may not already be working for or related to a current ABA member by reaching out to universities and technical schools around the country with programs that fit with the group travel and tourism industry.
“The ABA Foundation Board of Governors understands that students are our future,” said ABA Foundation Chairman of the Board Tom JeBran, from Trans-Bridge Lines in Bethlehem, Pa. “As this industry grows we need to ensure the future of our workforce and what better way to do that than to provide them much needed scholarship funds and hands-on learning opportunities.”
The ABAF is in the works to develop a program that will provide mentorship opportunities as well as job recruitment activities to students in terms of inviting them to attend ABA’s Marketplace to meet with travel and tourism companies and convention and visitors bureaus, as well as other activities throughout the year.
Outside of raising money for the Fund A Future campaign, the Board of Governors agreed to kick off a capital campaign that will help the foundation raise funds to continue that would underwrite critical research on the motorcoach, travel and tour industry.
"The ABAF has been producing grounding-breaking research on the group travel industry since 1997," said JeBran. "We know our industry is a jobs creator, provides access for rural communities and contributes to environmental sustainability. It is important that we communicate this message to policymakers and the greater public."