American Bus Association Picks St. Louis, Louisville for 2015, 2016 Events

October 1, 2012

The American Bus Association has selected Louisville, Ky., to host the ABA’s 2016 Marketplace Jan. 9-12 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville.

The ABA’s Marketplace in 2016 is the organization’s 38th annual gathering, but it marks the first time Louisville has hosted this prestigious event, according to the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau officials.

One year earlier, the ABA’s 2015 Marketplace will be held in St. Louis Jan. 10-13 at the America's Center Convention Complex.

"The American Bus Association is always thrilled when we can bring new cities into the ABA family,” said ABA President and CEO Peter J. Pantuso. 

He added, “Louisville was selected after an exhaustive bid process where several cities submitted proposals to host the ABA's Marketplace. Louisville has so many great places to see, including the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, the Kentucky Science Center, the Muhammad Ali Center and of course the Kentucky Derby Museum and historic Churchill Downs Racetrack.”

More than 3,000 attendees are estimated to attend the 2016 Marketplace. Nearly $80 million dollars for the delegates, suppliers and host city was generated from the 2012 event.

Officials estimate the ABA’s Marketplace will bring an immediate, direct economic impact of $4.4 million dollars by hosting the conference, but as has been the case with other Marketplace cities, there is the potential for much more future business after showcasing the city to tour operators, according to ABA officials.

 “Louisville already has a lot of options for tour operators and we continue to see tremendous growth,” said Jim Wood, president and CEO of the Louisville CVB.

He added, “By 2016, the ABA can expect to see an expanded bourbon experience with new distilleries along Main Street in addition to the attractions and restaurants that draw visitors to Louisville every year.“

There are more than 3,800 first-class hotel rooms within a short distance of the Kentucky International Convention Center and 2,300 of those are connected to the facility by an enclosed walking bridge.

Next year’s ABA 2013 Marketplace is scheduled Jan. 5-9 in Charlotte, N.C. In 2014, Nashville, Tenn., will host ABA’s Marketplace Jan. 17-21 in downtown Nashville at the new Music City Center.

The ABA’s 2015 Marketplace will be held in St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 10-13, 2015, at the America's Center Convention Complex.

“ABA’s Marketplace is the premier business event for the group travel industry,” said Kathleen “Kitty” Ratcliffe, president of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission.

She added, “We look forward to hosting Marketplace 2015 and showcasing the destination to key motorcoach and tour operators, plus other key representatives in the tourism industry.”

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