“YEAH! Maryland is excited to see motorcoaches returning; not only returning, but arriving full. It gives me great optimism for the fall and next Spring. As restrictions and capacity limits go away, we are seeing more groups hitting the roads.
May started with Benedict’s Bus and the juniors of Towanda High School (PA) coming to Baltimore. We loved seeing the kids at the National Aquarium, Historic Ships and Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Incidentally, this was the last school group that Benedict’s transported in March 2020, before COVID hit.
Even when last minute substitutions become necessary, operators working with DMOs, are doing what is necessary to keep the wheels rolling. When a scheduled attraction was unable to accommodate Elite Tours (PA), Elizabeth reached out and we were able to provide an alternative site; the Rawlings Conservatory was thrilled to host the group. Due to a couple of challenges, Bollman Charters revised their itinerary to bring 49 people to Frederick County – good thing it was a Mystery Tour. Bob Mock, said Visit Frederick was absolutely great to work with. I ended up calling them last minute and they came through. The seniors were thrilled.
SignaTours (VA) came to Annapolis for a Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse cruise. As David Davenport said, “Thank you so much! This is our first full (50 guests) motorcoach since December 2019. It is so nice to have people traveling again. Things are beginning to turn around for us and am so grateful.”
Late May, we had a big day for group tours in Maryland, with Baer Express Tours (MD), Conestoga Tours (PA), Gunther Charters (MD), Lowee’s Group Tours (PA), Shenandoah Tours (VA), and Wolf’s Bus (PA), all bringing groups to the Blue Angels practice show in Annapolis for U.S. Naval Academy Commissioning Week.
With Senior Centers reopening and people anxious to travel, the motorcoach business is rebounding and we look forward to welcoming more groups. Maryland is “Open for Business.”
— Rich Gilbert, Maryland Office of Tourism
Groups are on the move again as fully two-thirds of Americans 65 and older have been vaccinated and more than 80 percent will be by the start of summer. By this summer, 45 percent of all our travel planners and tour operators expect to be traveling with their groups again, and by this fall, 76 percent expect to have groups out enjoying America’s destinations.
This submission from our friends at the Maryland Office of Tourism tells the tale. Based on our research, planners expect pent-up demand to mean that trips will sell out earlier and many destinations like Maryland, will see a return of groups. America’s national parks, wide open western spaces, beaches, rivers and storied towns will all see a resurgence of groups.
Ride the silver wave with us as older Americans celebrate their newfound freedom to travel again!