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American Bus Association Names Two Arkansas Events to the Top 100


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Preparing the steaks
Preparing the steaks
   
Little Rock, Ark. -- The American Bus Association (ABA) announced today that the 62nd annual Original Ozark Folk Festival, to be held Nov. 5-8, 2009, in Eureka Springs and the 21st annual Magnolia Blossom Festival & World’s Championship Steak Cook-off in Magnolia, to be held May 15-16, 2009, have been designated as two of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2009 by an elite tourism industry selection committee.

Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/ October issue of Destinations magazine, indicates that the 62nd annual Original Ozark Folk Festival and the 21st annual Magnolia Blossom Festival & World’s Championship Steak Cook-off offer excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, said ABA.

With the release of the American Bus Association’s 2009 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 27 years of the Top 100 Events. 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 both of these festivals as a don’t-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection of this year is such a distinction for the festivals,” said Peter J. Pantuso, ABA’s president and CEO. “The real news here is that these two Arkansas festivals have been recognized as potential magnets for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives the 62nd annual Original Ozark Folk Festival and the 21st annual Magnolia Blossom Festival & World’s Championship Steak Cook-off an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners.”

According to studies recently completed by researchers at the George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave from US $5,000 to more than US $13,000 in a local destination’s economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

“Simply put,” said Pantuso, “motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer. That’s why the 62nd annual Original Ozark Folk Festival in Eureka Springs and the 21st annual Magnolia Blossom Festival & World’s Championship Steak Cook-off 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 2009 Top 100 Events Selection committee selected the 62nd annual Original Ozark Folk Festival in Eureka Springs and the 21st annual Magnolia Blossom Festival & World’s Championship Steak Cook-off from among hundreds of U.S. and Canadian events nominated by state and provincial tourism offices and convention and visitors bureaus. Judges considered the events’ broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria. The Top 100 Events list is available online at www.buses.org.

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