Delaware Tourism made their presence known at the American Bus Association (ABA) Convention held in Philadelphia from January 8-12, 2011. The ABA Convention is the nation's premier motorcoach industry event, attracting over 3,000 group tour affiliates to the region.

The inclement weather did not deter Governor Jack Markell from personally delivering a pitch to promote the First State during a Delaware-sponsored breakfast for group tour operators. The Delaware Tourism Office has identified Group Tour as one of its primary targeted market segments. This is the first time that Delaware sponsored an ABA event.

"We want the travel industry to know that Delaware values its visitors," said Governor Jack Markell. "Tourism is a critical part of our economy and group tours, in particular, sustain many of our small businesses. Delaware's accessibility, affordability and diversity in attractions make the state an ideal destination for group tours."

"The Delaware Tourism Office along with 14 local co-sponsors, seized the opportunity to
showcase the State's renowned attractions and venues to acquire more motorcoach business," said Linda Parkowski, Director of Tourism. "The location of this year's ABA Convention enabled Delaware to participate in a big way and raise awareness of all that the First State has to offer."

Participants of the Delaware-sponsored event were treated to an informative, festive breakfast which included Delaware peaches, a visual journey through the State's offerings, and a special live performance by the Delaware State University Band. Additionally, some group tour operators elected to continue the Delaware experience by participating in a two-day post-familiarization tour.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware.