Destination Gettysburg will host more than 70 group tour operators and group travel leaders as part of the Pennsylvania Bus Association’s Annual Conference, June 20-23, 2016.
These tour operators – already responsible for more than 900 tours annually to the Gettysburg area – will have the opportunity to see first-hand the variety of travel experiences in Adams County, Pa., ranging from history to recreation to culinary and shopping.
Destination Gettysburg was awarded the conference after submitting a bid in 2014.
About 70 members of Destination Gettysburg are taking part in PBA through events, FAM tours, member expo, sponsorships and the PBA registration itself.
Among the highlights of the Pennsylvania Bus Association’s conference include sight-seeing visits to the Gettysburg battlefield, local wineries, and several stops throughout the Gettysburg countryside as part of Destination Gettysburg’s new marketing initiative – Authentic Adams County.
Experiences will also include history and ghost tours, downtown walking tours as well as receptions and events at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, Historic Round Barn and Majestic Theater. The evening of June 21 features an expo with Destination Gettysburg’s members as well as a dine-around and scavenger hunt throughout Downtown Gettysburg.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase this destination to those travel professionals who have the opportunity to bring thousands of visitors to the region,” said Norris Flowers, President of Destination Gettysburg. “These four days will be a great chance for not only Destination Gettysburg, but dozens of partnering businesses and organizations to highlight a variety of ways for group travelers to enjoy themselves in the Gettysburg area.”
Group travel represents a large segment of visitation to the Gettysburg area. An estimated 15,000 groups – ranging from student field trips to military gatherings, churches and other organizations – visit Adams County, Pa., each year, according to Destination Gettysburg. These groups, according to research by the American Bus Association, results in more than 88,000 room nights and overall economic impact of $44 million annually.
“While many of these tour operators currently bring groups to the region, it is vital that the tourism community in Adams County introduces many of these travel organizers to experiences beyond what they are offering their groups now,” said Flowers.
“Gettysburg is a great area to host the Pennsylvania Bus Association’s Annual Meeting because our motorcoach operators’ tour planners can learn so much more about the great variety of experiences their group travelers can have,” said Elaine Farrell, Executive Director with PBA. “While so many of our motorcoach operators have taken groups to Gettysburg before, or at least know of Gettysburg, very few really understand the depth of experience available for their groups. We’re all eager to see this great destination so that everyone benefits from future excursions to Gettysburg. This would have not been possible without the planning partnership with Destination Gettysburg.”
In all, the event will include 195 attendees - including tour operators, group travel leaders, industry representatives and suppliers like Destination Gettysburg and other DMOs.
In addition to the events and tours throughout Adams County, members of the Pennsylvania Bus Association will meet throughout the conference for seminars, panel discussions and exhibitions.