AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION NAMES
KOOL-AID DAYS AND NORTH PLATTE RAIL FEST
TWO OF NORTH AMERICA'S 100 BEST EVENTS FOR 2011
LINCOLN, NEB. (Sept. 9, 2010)—The American Bus Association (ABA) has announced that Kool-Aid Days in Hastings and the North Platte Rail Fest have been designated as two of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2011 by an expert tourism industry selection committee. Inclusion in the Top 100 list indicates that an event offers excellent entertainment value to tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, according to the ABA. The list is featured in the September/October Destinations magazine supplement.
The release of the ABA’s 2011 Top 100 Events in North America marks its 29th program year. What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.
"The attractiveness of Kool-Aid Days and North Platte Rail Fest as don't-miss entertainment values are only part of why the selections this year are such a distinction for Nebraska," said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA's president and CEO. "The real news here is that these events have been recognized as a potential magnets for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives Hastings and North Platte an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners."
According to studies completed by researchers at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Dunham and Associates in Brooklyn, N.Y., one motorcoach group’s overnight visit can result in anywhere from $5,000 to more than $13,000 gains in a local destination's economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions and other fees, as well as shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.
"Motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer,” Pantuso said. “That's why Kool-Aid Days and North Platte Rail Fest are truly local economic assets. There is no better way to jump-start tourism than to attract motorcoach groups to a great event and convince them to extend their stay."
ABA's 2011 Top 100 Events Selection Committee chose Kool-Aid Days and North Platte Rail Fest from among a record 650-plus event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered each event's broad appeal, accessibility to motorcoaches, ability to handle large groups and other related criteria.
The Top 100 Events list is available online at www.buses.org/top100.
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