Luxury Coach & Transportation

June /July 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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6 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION JUNE / JULY 2019 MARTIN ROMJUE 8 Reasons To Keep Looking Forward JUNE / JULY 2019 EDITOR'S EDGE A fter editing 12 LCT Fact Book & Industry Guides, I've seen and crunched enough numbers to see cycles of ups and downs. •is year's book clearly belongs on the up list. Since this edition of LCT Magazine is a year- round keeper, I'll throw out some more positive markers for the year ahead: 1 Still Rolling: As I explain on p. 16, revenues, pro…ts, and pricing are either growing or holding steady in spite of all the competition, technological disruption, and TNC challenges. •at should encourage anyone who plans longevity in this industry, which is never easy but looks more possible than just …ve short years ago. We went through a pe- riod where doomsday dimwits were preparing us for job and business losses as America embraced driverless cars and suc- cumbed to arti…cial intelligence by. . . 2019 or 2020! Uber, by the way, still struggles to make a pro…t 10 years after the …rst passenger tapped its app. 2 Strong Foundation: As I write this today, U.S. unemploy- ment stands at 3.6%, the lowest I've seen in my mem- orable lifetime, which extends way back to my …rst news impressions of President Nixon speaking on a black-and-white TV. He never looked happy. We should all be thankful we reap from an economy where operators are look- ing to …ll vacancies with chau•eurs instead of clients. I still remember entering this industry at the onset of the Great Re- cession as businesses retrenched. Everything is possible and pro…table with good underlying economics. 3 Luxury Wave: •e concepts of luxury, comfort, and convenience creep into more areas of life, with too many examples to cite here. Luxury grows when an economy does and more people can a•ord better products and services. When I compare the standard old Holiday Inn and Days Inn hotel rooms on family trips as a kid to the standard rooms at Hampton Inns and Spring Hill Suites today, let's just say "premium" has become the new "basic." We should reach consumers looking to spend more money on experiences. •at means more of them would consider the conveniences of chau•eured service instead of risky Uber-X/Lyft pick-ups. Look no further than the wider range of luxury-level motorcoaches that have hit the market this decade as the OEMs provide a quality and comfort level exceeding those of the typical airline "coach class." 4 Educational Resources: Earlier this week, I sat in on the …rst meeting among our new LCT Fac- ulty, an experienced mix of operators who will be planning our educational sessions at LCT East in Atlantic City Nov. 3-5 and the 2020 Interna- tional LCT Show Feb. 17-20. Taking advantage of LCT's more independent status, they will reset and revamp our show topics and formats. I heard a lot of original, creative, and provoca- tive ideas bubbling in the brainstorming stew, and it should excite us about LCT shows all over again. •ere's much more to come, as originality is our forte. 5 New Show Season: Speaking of our trade show events, LCT East heads back to the oceanfront at the newly remodeled Hard Rock Hotel, formerly the tacky Trump Taj Mahal. •e venue once hosted some competing limo shows more known for partying and indulgence than busi- ness advancement. It was the …rst time in my life I got to be a last caller in a casino bar at 5 a.m. Now that the site has been redesigned, renovated, and cleaned, with the purple casino carpets ripped out, it's all classed up and ready for the LCT crowd. Meanwhile, ILCT returns to the upgraded Venetian, an attendee favorite. 6 Thinking Global: Look for a new group to emerge this summer called the Global Ground Transportation In- stitute (GGTI). It will re¦ect the de…ning attributes of LCT that center on a broader, more inclusive national and international outlook connecting diverse transportation and travel business sectors for new revenue opportunities. •ink of it as a business development agency and educational resource center as opposed to a trade association. We're all in business to grow, serve, and excel, and the GGTI, partnering with other professional groups, will …ll a needed gap in the overall ground transportation industry structure. 7 Going Global: LCT Show Europe in September 2020 will be the …rst ever U.S.-sponsored luxury ground transportation trade event in Europe. LCT drew oper- ators from 39 countries at its International LCT Show in March, so why not bring the show to a growing global business clientele? U.S. and international operators will be able to network and a¨liate like never before, proving this industry can tap a wide world of potential outside of tradi- tional protocols. 8 Media Coverage: As a lifelong media bu• whose …rst editorship was at my junior high newspaper, this marker means the most to me. LCT is entering the next level of multi-media with our experimental vid- eos, podcasts, and a redesigned and re¦owed website later this year. Our digital media numbers are rising steadily and stand unrivaled in the industry. We are dedicated to keeping you clicking. I recently indulged my nerdy side and read a book on the history of the network evening news, which was on every evening in my house grow- ing up. A media venue …rst started in 1948 is still with us, although with fewer viewers, but still pro…table and engaging with ratings often exceeding those of ca- ble news channels. It shows how the old can adapt and complement the new, whether in media or in business. As the original limousine and trade show in- dustry brand, LCT stands 36 years young and strong. We will strive to keep it that way. martin@lctmag.com The 2019-2020 Fact Book marks a new season for the industry and sets a positive agenda for the years ahead.

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