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Economy and Business

Tour bus convention coming to Cleveland promises long term benefits
Backers says it'll mean a big jump in bus tours to Northeast Ohio for years after the 2017 event

Kevin Niedermier
David Gilbert, president of Cleveland's convention and visitors bureau announces that Cleveland will host the 2017 American Bus Association convention. Behind him are (L-R) Todd Messic of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Laura Rayburn of the Great Lakes Science Center, and Pete Pantuso of the American Bus Association.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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In The Region:

It’s not the huge 2016 Republican National Convention, but Cleveland officials were still excited to announce today that the American Bus Association will hold its 2017 convention in Cleveland.

With about 3,500 tour bus operators attending, convention officials call it a medium to large event.

But as WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, most of the excitement is about the convention’s long-term impact.

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The American Bus Association convention itself will generate an estimated $7 million for the local economic. But the organization’s president, Pete Pantuso, says the side benefit is that tour bus operators from across the  U.S. and Canada will see the local attractions and then arrange excursions to the region. The bus association reports that former host cities have seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in bus tours. And Pantuso says Northeast Ohio offers a lot of opportunities for operators to consider, starting with Cleveland itself.

“With everything there is to do, with the hotel product, the restaurant product, that’s certainly important. Shopping outlets that are within the region. And it you move it out a little bit and use Cleveland as a home base if you will, the companies can go out of there on a days drive or half a days drive they can get to Amish country, they can go to the Football Hall of Fame down in Canton. They can get to other parts of Ohio, they can get up on the lake, they can go to Sandusky.”                                               

Pantuso says a single tour bus visit can generate more than $11,000 in lodging, meals and shopping. Cleveland tourism officials are also excited that the event will be held in January, a historically slow time for this area’s convention business.                                                   

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