Luxury Coach & Transportation

November 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 18 of 75

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION NOVEMBER 2018 17 Emerging Destinations For Meetings (2018) These two cities are East Coast choices for domestic cities benefiting from a newfound popularity among U.S. and international corporate meeting planners. • Asheville, N.C. • Richmond, Va. Source: The Meeting Magazines Top Destinations in the Eastern United States (2018) These are some of the most popular destinations for tourists on the East Coast. • New York City • Washington, D.C. • Boston, Mass. • Philadelphia, Pa. • Baltimore, Md. • Richmond, Va. • Asheville, N.C. • Savannah, Ga. • Charleston, S.C. • Atlanta, Ga. Source: Trip Savvy ATLANTA Chad Casey, owner and president, Casey Corporate Transportation During the past few years, the movie industry has grown a great deal in the Atlanta area, Casey says. In 2017, Georgia was the number one movie producing state in the nation. "The studios just keep building." In addition to this, sports also generate a lot of good business. "With our new Mercedes-Benz Stadium we had the college football playoffs this year. We've got the Super Bowl in 2019 and in 2020 we have the Final Four, so there are a lot of large sporting events that bring in outside clientele." Atlanta is also one of the top convention cities in the nation. It's very tax friendly for business, which has led to it to become one of the finalists for Amazon's second headquarters. The new companies and conventions that have come in have been driving forces of the area's economic growth, because they always need transportation. Tammy Carlisle, co-owner, Action Worldwide Chauffeured Services The Southeast, in particular Georgia, has grown due to many corporations choosing to relocate headquarters to the area along with the tax incentives being provided by the state for TV and movie production, Carlisle says. "The Atlanta Convention and Visitor's Bureau has done such a strategic job of marketing that our convention traffic has gone up 25% to 30% over the last few years," she says. Her suggestion to dip into some of the business is to keep your eyes open to new companies opening in your area and find time to make contact with them. Stay involved with your local chamber of commerce so you are made aware of things coming into the area in advance of them even opening. "No matter what city you're in, you should be a member of the local convention and visitor's bureau." PHILADELPHIA Mike Barreto, COO, Eagle Chauffeured Services Because of the reduction of the number of operators in the industry, Barreto says he's been able to capture more new business. "It's about leveraging yourself and being available. We live in a world where everyone wants something right away. They don't want to have to plan for it; if you're not preparing yourself to be near- or on-demand, you're going to limit yourself on your ability to get more business, especially in the mid-Atlantic region of the US," he explains. There's a huge push in class one cities like Philadelphia for millennials and multi-generational types to move back to the city. In the early 80's and 90's, there was a rush for people to get out of the city and go for the house with the white picket fence. "Now, because people have devalued that kind of debt and responsibility, they want to live more with less," Barreto says. Another big driver of economics in the region is the efficiency of the transportation infrastructure. "From Boston to DC, you have railways, subway lines, and transit systems that are far superior to that of anywhere else in the US." Johnny Donohoe, president, Sterling Limousine & Transportation Services Donohoe says the area is as strong as it's ever been, but he's seen a large uptick in group transportation in addition to high-end C level executive transportation. "There's been a good deal of mergers and acquisitions, which in turn has reduced the number of options and supply available to the customer. We've been capitalizing on that by increasing our rates across the board." Philadelphia has become a hotbed for restaurants created by high-named, prolific chefs, and a lot of new hotels are being built. New groups and events are selecting Philadelphia as their destination more so than ever. "The city itself has done a phenomenal job with development, specifically with the Philadelphia Navy Yard. They're trying to mimic what Baltimore has done with the inner harbor, making it a destination. Several years ago, the Navy Yard didn't house anything, but now it houses some major Fortune 500 companies and hotels." Meetings and events for large groups have been the biggest economic driver of the region. "We hear a consistent complaint about the lack of consistency and transparency from companies they are used to using. Be 100% truthful to the group leader or DMC. Don't call them five minutes after pick up time to let them know you're going to be late; that call needs to happen the moment dispatch knows there's a potential for a late pick up. The chauffeur might actually get there on time, but it helps the overall relationship." LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION NOVEMBER 2018 17

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