Luxury Coach & Transportation

May 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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2019 INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW: STATE OF THE INDUSTRY Dreams Rooted In Reality: Luxury Service Ready For New Client Sources Operators should take advantage of five growing charter and shuttle bus markets. By Martin Romjue, LCT editor L AS VEGAS — As the Interna- tional LCT Show marked its 35th anniversary, the luxury ground transportation industry can look to many sources of growth and opportunity, according to the annual State of the Industry presentation that opened the show on March 25. e economy is scraping 3% annual growth, the courtesy shuttle market presents new markets for operators, business travel and meetings business looks healthy, and the conveniences of mobile technology will help operators ease the use of their service for clients, LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood-Richard- son told a ballroom of attendees. e outlook supports this year's conference theme of "Dream Big," a basic requirement for ambitious entrepre- neurs and business owners who pursue a vision. Citing the famous saying, "the word impossible says to you 'I'm Possible,'' Sara urged attendees to dream like a wild-eyed entrepreneur and ignore the naysayers. Fulfill your dreams no mat- ter what, she said. Overall, the economic outlook for 2019 appears to still be on a path for growth despite the uncertainty of the stock market, which has been rebounding this Spring. Unemployment is below 4%. e long-awaited upward pressure on wages is boosting consumer spending. Business Travel & Meetings For the sixth straight year, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicts budget and spending increas- es for 2019 across the board. "GBTA is warning travel managers to expect suppliers – like you - to raise rates in 2019, so take this as a good sign," Sara said. "Stay strong in the face of raising rates." Among business travel costs and budgets, car service accounts for 5% of the overall spend. One hot button travel manager topic is women now make up more than 40% of business travel. "at changes priori- ties, like security, which is a topic now at the top of the checklist for travel management." Recently, the number of meetings and industry gatherings have exploded, which is good for luxury transporta- tion. Meetings are becoming larger and more frequent, yet shorter in duration, according to American Express Travel and Meetings Magazine. In addition to traditional mega shows, niche events focused on one topic are growing in every market seg- ment. is means more people-move- ment opportunities for operators, who should attend Meeting Planners Inter- national (MPI) gatherings and make the rounds to large local businesses hosting events and sending their teams to them. "ere's good work waiting for you to cash in on." 5 BIG Shuttle Bus And Van Opportunities Here are the best places to mine local markets for courtesy shuttle work: 1: Employee movement. e growing trend for large corporate is to build "campuses," and that has led to adding employee transportation to the "perk " list. is residual work is contracted directly and paid to the transportation provider monthly. is business comes with tax incentives. 2: Retirement community living. Look for "independent living campuses" as a pos- sible shuttle opportunity. is market is booming – especially in the high-end space with brands like Global Hyatt tak- ing full advantage. Marriott is moving its Washington, DC corporate head- quarters across town, and when they do, the building they are vacating will be turned into a five-building retirement campus home to 15,000 residents. "You should know securing these transportation contracts can be tricky," Sara said. "Most of the fixed route busi- ness on a loop is done in-house, and is exempt from regulations. So when you go to meet with your local inde- pendent living facility management, focus on their excursions, day trips, nights out, trips to the airport, etcetera — all those transportation needs fall under "charter," which in most cases is deemed "for-hire" work. at is yours 2 6 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION MAY 2019

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