Highlights and High Notes

Fresh from ABA’s 2024 Marketplace in Music City, the group travel and motorcoach industry is fit as a fiddle and leading the charge


“This year’s Marketplace was one of the most amazing Marketplaces we have ever had,” says Peter Pantuso, president & CEO of the American Bus Association. “We had more operators in town than ever before, more operators taking appointments, and nearly 3,000 attendees.” 

Pantuso, who will retire in September after 28 years with ABA, was one of many industry leaders who received awards and recognition for their dedication to motorcoach and group travel during ABA’s 2024 Marketplace, held Jan. 13–16 in Nashville, Tenn. 

And where better to celebrate the industry’s road to recovery than Music City? One-on-one business appointments, top-notch education, 135 exhibitors showcasing quality products and services, and ABA Council and government regulation updates were interspersed with networking opportunities at some of Nashville’s most beloved attractions. 

From Honky Tonk Highway, to hot chicken, to historic entertainment venues, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp pulled out all the stops to ensure the success of this year’s Marketplace. Thank you to President & CEO Deana Ivey and the entire team at Visit Music City. 

See you in Philadelphia, Feb. 1–4, 2025! 

2024 Marketplace totals:

  • Attendees checked in: 2,800 
  • Motorcoach and tour operators in attendance: 1,039 
  • Business appointments: 107,892 
  • Exhibitors: 135 
  • Raised for ABA Foundation Scholarships: $103,391 
  • Strings For Hope ABA Gives Back Charity: $35,300 

Members Recognized During ABA’s Marketplace

Congratulations to all of the award winners recognized during ABA’s 2024 Marketplace in Nashville, Tenn.

BUSRide Good Stewardship Award

The BUSRide Good Stewardship Award honors an individual who has been and continues to be a “Good Steward” and leader in the industry. Winner: Clarence Cox, Georgia Coach Lines

Innovative Motorcoach Operator of the Year Award (Metro Magazine)

All Aboard America Holdings Inc. staff

The Innovative Motorcoach Operator of the Year Award celebrates motorcoach operators who are on the cutting edge with everything from IT to sustainability. Winner: All Aboard America Holdings Inc.

MCI’s Leadership & Environmental Sustainability Award 

Peter Pan Bus Lines staff with award

The Leadership & Environmental Sustainability Award recognizes motorcoach industry leaders for their investment in environmentally responsible equipment and adoption of green business practices. Winner: Peter Pan Bus Lines

Lifetime Volunteer Service Award

Patti Lloyd, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce with award

The ABA Lifetime Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated dedication to the motorcoach, travel, and tourism industry through volunteer hours. Winner: Patti Lloyd, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

Volunteerism is in my genes from my parents, and I find it very rewarding. Not only does it allow you to meet new folks you otherwise wouldn’t meet, but it will also enhance both your destination and you personally.

—Patti Lloyd, senior vice president of sales at Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and recipient of the Lifetime Volunteer Service Award

Motorcoach Driver of the Year Award

Phillandor Knight, Peter Pan Bus Lines with award

The Motorcoach Driver of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond in the performance of his or her duties as an over-the-road motorcoach driver, professionally executing safe motorcoach operation while providing the traveling public with the safest form of passenger transportation in the U.S. Winner: Phillandor Knight, Peter Pan Bus Lines 

Norm Littler Memorial Safety Award

Pam Martinez, DATTCO Inc.

The Norm Littler Safety Award recognizes an individual or an organization who has made significant contributions to the profession of safety. Winner: Pam Martinez, DATTCO Inc.

Serendipity Magazine Today Award

Elizabeth Hall, John Hall’s Alaska with award

The Serendipity Magazine Today Award is presented to a company or individual tour operator who uses creativity to grow business. Winner: Elizabeth Hall, John Hall’s Alaska

Women in Buses Award

Kathryn Fischer, Transportation Charter Services and Polynesian Adventure Tours with award

The Women in Buses Award, sponsored by MCI, recognizes an individual or company who has directly affected the advancement and promotion of women within and among the motorcoach, tourism, and hospitality industries. Winner: Kathryn Fischer, Transportation Charter Services and Polynesian Adventure Tours

Women in Buses Operational Excellence Award

Jen Stanley, Fullington Tours with award

The Women in Buses Operational Excellence Award, presented by MCI, is given to an individual who displays excellence in service to their organization. Winner: Jen Stanley, Fullington Tours

Wayne Chandler Spirit of Partnership Award 

Adam Jacobson, Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center at podium

The Wayne Chandler Spirit of Partnership Award recognizes an individual who creatively works within the group travel industry to build partnerships for the promotion of all tourism market segments and destinations. Winner: Adam Jacobson, Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center

Thank You, Marketplace Sponsors

From all of us at ABA, we sincerely thank each of our 2024 Marketplace sponsors, without whom we would not have been able to deliver the world-class event our attendees have come to expect. The generosity, partnership, and commitment of the following sponsors are what help make Marketplace the No. 1 trade show for the motorcoach travel and group tour industry.

Principal-Level Sponsors

“Sweet Home” Alabama
Cincy Region 
Explore Branson
Group Sales Box Office at 
Kentucky Tourism
Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
Nebraska Tourism 
New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism
New York State Division of Tourism – I Love New York
Norwegian Cruise Line
Ohio Amish Country
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau 
Tennessee Department of Tourist Development 
Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library
Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission in Partnership With Virginia Tourism Corporation
Visit Williamsburg
Worldpay from FIS

Champion-Level Sponsors

A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical
American Museum of Natural History
Ark Encounter/Creation Museum
Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association 
Broadway in Chicago Group Sales
Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store
Circle Michigan
Circle Wisconsin 
Country Music Hall of Fall and Museum, RCA Studio B, and Hatch Show Print
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
Deadwood Chamber of Commerce
Delaware Tourism Office 
Destination Northern Ontario
Discover Lancaster 
Experience Sioux Falls
Explore Bristol
Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and CVB
Golden Corral
Group Tour Magazine–Greenspring Media
Hard Rock International
Iowa Travel Industry Partners 
Louisiana Office of Tourism
Louisville Tourism
Mackinaw City Chamber of Tourism 
Maryland Office of Tourism
Motor Coach Industries 
National Interstate Insurance Company
New York City Cultural Collection
New York Philharmonic
Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
Old Town Trolley Tours of Nashville
Outer Banks of North Carolina
Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism
Team Texas 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Opera
The Museum of Modern Art
Tour Colorado
U.S Space & Rocket Center, Home of Space Camp
US Tours 
Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
Virginia Tourism Corporation 
Visit Atlantic City
Visit Clarksville
Visit Detroit
Visit Maine
Visit Mississippi
Visit Myrtle Beach 
Visit Savannah and Visit Tybee Island
Whitney Museum of American Art

Contributor-Level Sponsors

5 Star Niagara Falls Tours
AFC Travel
Amish Country of Illinois
Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery
Brittain Resorts & Hotels
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau 
Cedar Fair Youth Programs
Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau
Connecticut Tourism Office
Destination Niagara USA
Explore Asheville
Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
Greater Pooler Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Group Travel Odyssey
Hotel Engine
International Lifeline
Lake Placid Adirondacks USA
National Comedy Center
National Museum of the United States Army
New Hampshire Travel & Tourism
Ohio Has It
Rhode Island Tourism
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
The Adirondack Coast
The Group Travel Leader Inc. 
The Heart of Massachusetts
TourTools software 
Travel Alaska
Trip Mate
Vermont Tourism Network
Visit Beaufort, Port Royal Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
Visit London Kentucky
Wicked the Musical
Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre
Wyoming Office of Tourism
Xanterra Travel Collection

Supporting-Level Sponsors

Amaya Seating
Boston Duck Tours 
Connect Travel
Destination Gettysburg
Klein Transportation
New England Coach Tour and Travel
Northeast Charter & Tour
Ohio Star Theater/Dutchman Hospitality
Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry
Simple Plans by Jonathan Stanley
SoIN Tourism
Spader Business Management

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