ABA Top 100 ListWinnipeg, MB, September 8, 2015 - The American Bus Association (ABA) announced today that Canada's National Ukrainian Festival, the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, and the Manitoba Highland Gathering have been designated as three of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2016 by an experienced tourism industry selection committee.

"Congratulations to the three Manitoba events included in ABA's 2016 Top 100 Events in North America list," said Travel Manitoba President and CEO, Colin Ferguson. "All three of these events offer immersive cultural experiences that celebrate our province's diverse history and traditions, as well as our renowned hospitality. We can't wait to welcome motorcoach groups to the province for these events and others in 2016."

What began 34 years ago 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 Canada's National Ukrainian Festival, the Manitoba Icelandic Festival, and the Manitoba Highland Gathering for their don't-miss entertainment value is only part of why their selection this year is such a distinction for Manitoba," said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA's 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 honour gives Manitoba 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 these three Manitoba 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."

ABA's 2016 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected Canada's National Ukrainian Festival, the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, and the Manitoba Highland Gathering from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA 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. The Top 100 Events list is available online at www.buses.org/Top-100-Events-In-North-America/.

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Travel Manitoba is a Crown Corporation under provincial legislation that leads and stimulates sustainable tourism growth in Manitoba's $1.52 billion tourism industry. In partnership with the tourism industry, the agency is responsible for tourism marketing, visitor information services, research and public information.