The American Bus Association announced today that Gatlinburg’s July 4th Celebration has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America and the Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Festival has been named a Top 100 Event to Watch for 2016.
Chosen by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee, the events list will be published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations Magazine. Inclusion in the Top 100 list indicates that Gatlinburg’s July 4th Celebration and Beans and Cornbread Festival offer excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, according to the American Bus Association.
With the release of the American Bus Association’s 2016 Top 100 Events in North America, the organization celebrates 34 years of the program. 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 4th of July Celebration and The Beans and Cornbread Festival as a don’t-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for Gatlinburg,” said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, American Bus Association president and CEO. “The real news here is that these events have been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives Gatlinburg an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners.”
According to studies completed by researchers at Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave up to $25,000 in a local destination’s economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.
“Tour groups spend more and stay longer,” Pantuso said. “That’s why Gatlinburg events are truly a local economic asset. 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.”
The American Bus Association’s 2016 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected these events from hundreds of event nominations submitted by members. Judges considered the event’s broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.