The American Bus Association (ABA) announced that Edison & Ford Holiday Nights, to be held on December 2 31, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2012 by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee. Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicates that Edison & Ford Holiday Nights offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, according to ABA.
"The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is honored to be selected as an ABA Top 100 Event," said Lisa Sbuttoni, pr/marketing director. "The thirty-six year event is a must-see tradition in southwest Florida. During the holidays the homes and gardens of Thomas and Mina Edison and Henry and Clara Ford are seasonally decorated. Visitors will also enjoy nightly music performances, special exhibits and the "Culinary Creative Cottage Shoppe." Groups of all ages are welcome to a self guided tour or a guided tour with an Estates site historian. During the event, the Edison Ford is open until 9 p.m. throughout the month of December."
With the release of the American Bus Association's 2012 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 30 years of the program. What began 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 Edison & Ford Holiday Nights as a don't-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel," said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA's president and CEO. "The real news here is that Edison & Ford Holiday Nights has 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 honor gives The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners."
According to studies completed by researches at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave from US $5,000 to more than US $11,000 in a local destination's economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.
"Motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer," Pantuso said. "That's why Edison & Ford Holiday Nights is truly a local economic asset. There is no better way to jump-start tourism than to attract motocoach groups to a great event and convince them to extend their stay."
ABA's 2012 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected Edison & Ford Holiday Nights from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the events broad appeal, its accessibility to motocoaches and skill at handling large groups and a variety of other relevant criteria.
The Top 100 Events list is available online at hhp://www.buses.org/News-Publications/Top-100.
The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of "Save America's Treasures" at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.