More than 3,300 Attendees Expected to Participate in Marketplace

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Leigh Lyons
Office 817-410-3195/Cell 817-903-9424
llyons@GrapevineTexasUSA.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION'S MARKETPLACE RETURNS TO GRAPEVINE JANUARY 6 - 10

More than 3,300 Attendees Expected to Participate in Marketplace


GRAPEVINE, TX (December 29, 2011) - On January 6 - 10, the City of Grapevine welcomes the American Bus Association's (ABA) Marketplace, the premier business event for the group travel industry. More than 3,300 attendees representing motorcoach operators, tour operators, suppliers, hotel companies and other professionals in the group travel industry are expected to attend the show. The ABA is the Washington D.C.-based trade association that represents nearly 4,000 motorcoach companies, tour operators, destinations, hotels and other tourism professionals. The ABA Marketplace was previously held in Grapevine January 27 - February 1, 2007.

Marketplace is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $3 million for Grapevine's hospitality industry. According to the ABA, each chartered motorcoach generates approximately $10,000 of economic activity per day and the motorcoach industry supports nearly 800,000 tourism jobs in the U.S.

"Grapevine is thrilled to again be the host for ABA's Marketplace," said Paul W. McCallum, executive director, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Grapevine to group travel professionals who directly impact the economic viability of Grapevine's tourism and hospitality industry. By having these professionals in our city during Marketplace, they become familiar with our destination, and Grapevine becomes top of mind when they are planning group travel programs within the next several months for the coming year."

According to a recently released study by DePaul University of Chicago, motorcoach travel is increasing nationwide, up for the fifth year in a row. Daily curbside departures climbed 7.1% in 2011. Motorcoach travel ranks as the second most utilized form of leisure travel, just behind airline travel.

"Motorcoach travel is the greenest form of transportation and with most motorcoaches now having free Wi-Fi, plug-ins and luxury accommodations, our industry is seeing solid steady growth. It's against this backdrop that Marketplace is coming to Grapevine, Texas," said Peter J. Pantuso, president and CEO, American Bus Association.

Marketplace will be headquartered at Grapevine's Gaylord Texan Resort. As part of this year's event, Marketplace Gives Back, a special fundraiser held at Cowboys Stadium on Monday, January 9, will raise money for Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE), specifically for its transitional housing program for distressed women and children.

"Marketplace Gives Back, established in 2007 during ABA's Grapevine Marketplace, has since raised more than $160,000 for local charities," said Steve Haddad, chairman, ABA Marketplace.

Some additional highlights of Marketplace include face-to-face meetings for suppliers, tour planners, hotels and CVBs; new equipment and products on display; a meeting of the Bus Industry Safety Council featuring leading experts in the motorcoach industry; opportunities for attendees to talk with high ranking government officials such as Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board Deborah Hersman; a listening session with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other special sessions and events.

For more information regarding Grapevine, please contact the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-457-6338 or 817-410-3185 or visit www.GrapevineTexasUSA.com.