Home » Motorcoach group names Bourbon Festival, Christmas at the Galt House Hotel, Southern Lights to list of Top 100 Events

Motorcoach group names Bourbon Festival, Christmas at the Galt House Hotel, Southern Lights to list of Top 100 Events

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival continues through Sunday in Bardstown.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept.12, 2012) — The Kentucky Bourbon Festival, taking place now through Sunday in Bardstown, Christmas at the Galt House Hotel and Southern Lights were named to the American Bus Association’s (ABA) list of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013.

An experienced expert tourism industry selection committee evaluated hundreds of nominated events, and selected events that offer excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world.

This ranking puts the three Kentucky events in a national spotlight as tour and event planners choose where to bring their groups.

Being named to the list recognizes that the events are a potential magnet for tourism dollars “at a time when re-energizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy,” said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA’s president and CEO.

One overnight visit by a motorcoach group can generate between $5,000 to more than $11,000 in a local destination’s economy, according to studies completed by researchers at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

The 2011 Cooking School enjoyed samples of cuisine featuring Jim Beam Bourbons prepared by Chef Albert Schmid of Sullivan University. Schmid is the chair of the beverage management program at Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies and is the author of “The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook.”

“Motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer,” Pantuso said. “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 represents some 1,000 motorcoach and tour companies throughout the United States and Canada, and the Top 100 Events list is a sought-after resource for travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public. The Top 100 Events list is published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine and on the ABA’s website.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which began Tuesday in Bardstown, is a six-day event celebrating the history, art and passion of making Kentucky Bourbon. The festival started in 1922 with one event and has grown to include more than 35 events, including the World Championship Barrel Relay, the Great Kentucky Bourbon Tasting and Gala, live music by national acts (this year is Dierks Bentley), southern cooking and huge dose of southern hospitality.

Attendance for 2011 included attendees from 38 states and 14 countries.

For more information, click here.

Christmas at the Galt House Hotel

Christmas at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville has been featured on the Travel Channel’s “Christmas Crazy” special. The KaLightoscope Attraction, featuring larger-than-life luminaries, is a perennial favorite among guests.

The event runs from Nov. 17 through Jan. 2. This year, it also will include the new Peppermint Express Kiddie Train Ride through the Candy Cane Forest. Inside, children will be greeted by Mr. Sugar Pine, the talking tree.

KaLightoscope at Christmas at the Galt House

They’ll also watch as nearly 100 new animated animals work to get ready for a holiday party in the forest.

To learn more, click here.

Southern Lights

Horses are not the only thing on display at the Kentucky Horse Park from late November to December. For the past 19 years, miles of never-before-seen light displays and traditional favorites adorn the grounds of the park.

After the light tour, visitors can check out a petting zoo, music performances, pony rides, a miniature dollhouse display, mini-train express and model trains. Children also can visit with Santa Claus and have their photo taken.

This year’s event is Nov. 16 through Dec. 31.

For more information, click here.