(Berkeley County, SC) – The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce announced today that the Mepkin Abbey Crèche festival has been named one of the American Bus Association’s (ABA) Top 100 Events in North America for group travel in 2012. The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, a member of the ABA, nominated the Crèche Festival for this honor. A panel of ABA-member bus and tour operators selected the CrècheFestival from more than 600 entries nominated by ABA members. This announcement comes on the heels of recently released tourism statistics indicating a 6% rise in Berkeley County tourism.
“We’re thrilled the ABA has chosen the Mepkin Abbey Crèche Festival for this very honorable distinction,” says Elaine Morgan, CEO of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, “This is incredible exposure for Mepkin Abbey, and we look forward to the new stream of tour groups who will be visiting Berkeley County as a result.”
“The attractiveness of the Mepkin Abbey Crèche Festival as a don’t-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for Mepkin Abbey,” says Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA’s president and CEO. “The real news here is that Mepkin Abbey’s Crèche Festival 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 Mepkin Abbey an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners.”
“This is exciting for Mepkin Abbey,” says Father Guerric Heckel, Director of the Crèche Festival, “We are grateful the Berkeley Chamber nominated us and humbled by the fact that we were chosen from among hundreds of entries. It will be our privilege to share what has become such a special event for so many people in the Lowcountry with an even broader audience.”
The winners will be published in September in a special supplement to Destinations, ABA’s award-winning magazine, and publicized through an ABA press release to North American media. Additionally, the 2012 Top 100 Events will be posted on ABA’s Web site, www.buses.org, from September 2011 through December 2012.
About Berkeley Chamber of Commerce
The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce is the leading voice of business and tourism in Berkeley County. Progressive industries, world renowned natural beauty, historical landmarks, lakes and rivers, and vibrant recreation mixed with shopping and locations which have been the back drop for major motion pictures all make Berkeley County a center for “the good life”. For general and business information, visit www.berkeleysc.org; for tourism and vacation information, visit www.visitberkeleycounty.com.
About Mepkin Abbey Crèche Festival
Each year, the monks at Mepkin Abbey attract visitors from around the Lowcountry and beyond who flock to Moncks Corner, South Carolina to experience an incredible display of hundreds of unique and creative handmade nativity sets from around the world. Mepkin Abbey’s Crèche Festival is a Lowcountry holiday tradition! Beginning in early November, the monks transform their conference center into a forest of trees and candles which serve as the backdrop for the Nativity sets. Each year, new sets are added to the festival and displayed with some of the old favorites from previous years. Last year, outdoor displays were added to the exhibit for the first time. The 2010 Crèche Festival was featured in an article which ran on the Associated Press.
Contact: Gina Smith
Phone: (843) 437-8357
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2011