Ken Vandruff
Director of Communications & Marketing


Sept. 1, 2009

For immediate release

Event is a Ticket to Fun and to Critical Group Tourism Dollars

(Wichita, Kan.) - Music Theatre of Wichita (MTW) has been named one of the American Bus Association's (ABA) Top 100 Events in North America for 2010.

An elite tourism industry committee chose MTW after reviewing a nomination from Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau. MTW was included on the Top 100 list because of its excellent entertainment value to both groups and individual travelers from around the world. The ABA annually publishes the list to help motorcoach and tour operators plan their itineraries.

"Having Music Theatre included on this prestigious list guarantees that group leaders will consider Wichita as they plan their trips for next year," said John Rolfe, Go Wichita president and CEO. "It has great appeal for tour buses, and it's one of the finest attractions that Wichita has to offer."

The ABA started the list in 1982 as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries. Today, it is one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public. The Wichita River Festival has been on the list six times.

"The attractiveness of Music Theatre of Wichita as a don't-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for Wichita," said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA's president and CEO. "The real news here is that Music Theatre has been recognized as a magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives Wichita an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners."

ABA Top 100 Events

According to studies recently completed by researchers at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can bring from $5,000 to more than $13,000 to a local economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

"Simply put, motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer," said Pantuso. "That's why Music Theatre of Wichita is 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 2010 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected Music Theatre of Wichita from among hundreds of U.S. and Canadian events nominated by state and provincial tourism offices and convention and visitors bureaus. 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 mission of the Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau is to market the Greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state.

The Top 100 Events list is available online at

For more information, contact Ken Vandruff, Go Wichita director of communications, 316.660.6305 or