Mark your calendar
Join us April 2 - 3 to make a difference for our industry
UMA is pleased to invite  you and all operators  from your national state or regional industry organization to attend the 2019 Bus & Motorcoach Industry Legislative Fly-In, April 2-3, in our nation's capital. Equally as important,  your organization is invited to join us as a partner for this important event that will be powered by UMA.

If we can count you in, please reply to Patricia Marshall on the UMA staff at  pmarshall@uma.org or by phone at (703) 838-2929.
January 22, 2019
Industry groups call for end to government shutdown
The government shutdown is having a harmful economic impact, including to the tourism industry, according to a statement by several group tour and travel associations: the American Bus Association, The International Motorcoach Group, Ontario Motor Coach Association, Student Youth Travel Association, the National Tour Association, the International Inbound Travel Association, the United States Tour Operators Association, and the United Motorcoach Association.
From the official press release, “We recognize that neither side wants to concede to the other, but this prolonged political fight will have negative impacts on the country – and our industries – for months and possibly years to come. Our members are already experiencing hardships and loss of revenue from the shutdown.” They urged Congress and the Administration to end this prolonged fight.

Delta Airlines recently reported seeing their revenue decrease by $25 million in the month since the start of the shutdown, another component of the travel industry in which the shutdown is taking a toll. The statement by industry associations relayed that their member businesses are unable to take groups to many key tourist attractions, which impacts their business revenue as well.

This includes National Parks, the Smithsonian Museum, and the National Zoo.
“We recognize that neither side wants to concede to the other, but this prolonged political fight will have negative impacts on the country – and our industries – for months and possibly years to come. Our members are already experiencing hardships and loss of revenue from the shutdown.”
“We call on Congress and the Administration to act swiftly to reopen the government to get our fellow Americans back to work and keep our economy growing,” the groups urged.
MBMCA hosts meet and greet for mayoral hopeful
The Midwest Bus and Motorcoach Association continues to be active in taking on the party bus issue in the city of Chicago and is hosting a meet and greet with a candidate for the office of mayor, Garry Mcarthy. The event will take place tomorrow, January 23, at 11 a.m. at Infinity Transportation, 2400 E. Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018.

Please RSVP to  Api Dogan  if you will attend.
MARKETING
Expert says customer surveys are no substitute for actually talking to your customers
Harvard Business Review | by Graham Kenny | January 16, 2019

I’ll never forget the questionnaire handed to me midway through a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney. It was massive. Page after page of detailed tick-the-box or circle-the-response questions – it seemed to me it would take the full 13-hour flight to complete. I started, but it was too much work and I abandoned it halfway through. I thought to myself: does management really believe they get valid and reliable data from these surveys?

For many organizations, surveys like this qualify as “talking to the customer.” They’re ubiquitous – appearing in hotel rooms, after online purchases, and in hospital emergency departments. But do they really qualify as customer consultation? Or are they a symptom of an isolated management just putting on a show of interest? What can be done instead?

The obvious answer is to talk with customers directly. But executives are often put off by the idea of interviewing customers individually, believing that it involves many hours and massive expense. Instead they get together in a group and guess what the customer —  or any stakeholder  — wants, with only the flimsy, half-hearted responses of customer surveys to guide them. It usually results in the wrong answers and the wrong strategies.
Bus & Motorcoach News is mailed twice monthly to all UMA members. In addition, it's available online 24/7 at www.busandmotorcoachnews.com and by email, on a schedule you choose! Invite everyone on your staff to stay informed about the industry by signing up for email updates from  Bus & Motorcoach News Sign up here. You can choose daily or weekly updates! Below is a sampling of what's in our latest digital and print editions.
Bus driver rescues baby and video goes viral
Bus & Motorcoach News | January 21, 2019

Eyes on the road mean eyes on the community for drivers of buses—transit, school and otherwise. This year, Milwaukee transit drivers, alone, have spotted and rescued some nine lost or missing children.

And the most recent rescue went viral when someone shot a video of driver Irena Ivic stopping in traffic and running out to scoop up a freezing baby as she toddled, crying, down a sidewalk by a busy street. A passenger pitched in with a coat to warm the child, and the driver (who was a mother and former teacher in her native Serbia) soothed the child until authorities arrived.

Stagecoach Group mulls sale of North American assets
Bus & Motorcoach News | by Rick Stoff | January 16, 2019

PERTH, Scotland—Stagecoach Group has written down $107 million of the value of its North American properties—Megabus, Coach USA and Coach Canada—and is considering the sale of “all or parts” of them, documents show in the company’s financial filing for the half-year ending Oct. 27, Stagecoach reported the North American businesses were profitable “but below our internal budget.” The results were blamed largely on competition and the shortage of drivers.    

Stagecoach, based in Scotland, employs 4,000 people and operates 2,100 buses and coaches in North America. In addition to Megabus, it owns 25 U.S. carriers and Perfect Body Company, a repair facility in North Bergen, N.J. There are three Coach Canada facilities in Ontario and a Gray Line carrier in Montreal.    

MEMBER BENEFITS

Exclusive insurance program generates revenue, plus it meets customer needs

USI Travel Insurance Services has designed a unique and exclusive  UMA members-only travel insurance program for charter bus operations , along with a more traditional travel insurance package for tour operators. 
 
The program not only provides a valuable product for a UMA member’s customers, it allows the member to highlight their company’s position as a unique travel professional in their community. Members will earn additional income from the product as well.

USI Travel Insurance Services is offering two plans to members: Comprehensive Travel Protection for Tours and the  UMA members-only exclusive   plan for charter bus customers, featuring coverage for high-limit emergency medical evacuations, baggage, and much more.
 
To learn more, contact Sharon Broo, CTA, at USI Travel Insurance Services,  Sharon.Broo@usi.com  or call 770.905.4065.
Motorcoach Industry Calendar

JANUARY 2019

FEBRUARY 2019
  • 10-14 Tennessee Motorcoach Association Convention & Marketplace, IP Casino Resort & Spa, Biloxi, MS https://tnmca.net/annual-convention/
  • 16-19 Maryland Motorcoach Association Winter Operators Meeting Founders Inn & Spa, Virginia Beach, VA

MARCH 2019
  • 11-12 GNJMA Sponsor Appreciation Dinner, Spring Association Meeting & Motorcoach Professional Awards, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem http://www.gnjma.com/
  • 26 PBA Board Meeting – Wyndham York, York, PA http://pabus.org/
  • 26 PBA Investing in the Motorcoach Industry: Increasing your ROI seminar, Wyndham York, York, PA http://pabus.org/
  • 26 PBA Drivers & Employees of Distinction Awards Program – Wyndham York, York, PA http://pabus.org/
  • 27 PBA Marketplace Group Leader Show, Wyndham York, York, PA
  • 27-28 Maryland Motorcoach Association Marketplace/Travel ShowcaseDover Downs Casino, Dover, DE

APRIL 2019
  • 2 – 3 Bus & Motorcoach Industry Legislative Fly-In powered by UMA www.uma.org/capitol-hill
  • 7 – 9 Northwest Motorcoach Association Annual Mechanics & Tech & Tour Conference, Comfort Inn & Suites Boise Airport Boise, ID

JUNE 2019
  • 18-21 PBA Annual Meeting, Resorts Casino, Atlantic City, NJ (Hosted by Atlantic City/MeetAC)
  • 20-23 New England Bus Association Annual Conference, Nonantum ResortKenneybunkport, ME
  • 21 PBA Board Meeting, Atlantic City http://pabus.org/

AUGUST 2019
  • 6-9 IMG Strategic Alliance Meeting, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 14 PBA Safety & Preparedness Workshop, York Springs, PA http://pabus.org/
  • 15-18 NAMO Annual Conference & Marketplace – Springfield, MO Oasis Hotel and Convention Center  http://www.namo-coaches.org/

SEPTEMBER 2019
  • 11, Maryland Motorcoach Association Annual Crab Feast, Kentmorr Restaurant and Crab House. Stevensville, MD

OCTOBER 2019
  • 9-10 GNJMA Fall Annual Meeting & Related Events including Group Leader Marketplace, Resorts Atlantic City http://www.gnjma.com/
  • 21-23, 201920th Annual North West Motorcoach Association ROADEO Location TBD
  • 21-23 Bus Association of New York (BANY) Annual Meeting and Marketplace, Otesaga Resort Hotel, Cooperstown, NY http://www.banybus.org/marketplace/

JANUARY 2020
  • 19-23 UMA Motorcoach EXPO, Nashville, TN REGISTER
YOU ARE UMA
Remember, as a UMA member you have the power of discounts on the best products and services, access to relevant education, targeted professional resources, and colleagues all over the map. Remember to consult your member directory when you need help on the road, access to more vehicles to meet demand, or services out of your area. We are UMA! Want to find other members to do business with? Use the online directory.

Reach the UMA staff by calling (703) 838-2929 or by email at info@uma.org . We love to hear from our members!