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Limos.com’s Doug Anderson advised operators to embrace the ASAP chauffeured clients, who are redefining ground transportation. He updated attendees of the 2014 International LCT Show on industry technology trends, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Photo by LCT
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Business travel activity and its spillover into chauffeured transportation forges ahead in 2014 as this year proves the strongest since the Great Recession, key indicators and figures show.
The stellar numbers intrigued the bottom-line driven attendees during state of the industry presentations Feb. 16 that opened the 30th anniversary International LCT Show. LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood-McLean outlined benchmark business travel and limousine industry statistics while Limos.com vice president Doug Anderson tracked the latest mobile technology trends and habits.
“This is not a limo show, but a bus and sedan show,” Sara told the audience at the opening session. “This is not the tuxedo show from the days of old. Meetings are a hot growth area, and buses are in high demand.”
Better Business Travel
The growth in the variety and quality of vans and all size buses on the trade show floor testified to the demand in business travel related to groups, road shows, meetings and conventions.
According to Sara’s presentation:
- The Global Business Travel Association expects business travel spend to increase 6.6% this year to $290 billion, compared to $277.2 billion in 2013. That’s better than the 4.6% growth from 2012 to 2013. 2013 was beset with a mixed outlook resulting from the European debt crisis, the fiscal cliff in the states and downgraded global growth. Business travel budgets are expected to rise only slightly over last year to account for increased prices, not more volume.
- Group travel itself will rise 4.6% this year to $266.7 billion, compared to $254.9 billion in 2012.
- Carlson Wagonlit Travel recently published a white paper on Business Travel Trends for 2013 which found that Brazil, India and China will continue driving growth in business travel spend at almost twice the world average.
- Service reviews will play a key role in travel negotiations. Half of business travelers already post reviews online. These reviews will hold more sway in the business travel program with the adoption of new corporate review sites.
- Unmanaged travel programs will tempt companies with a low-control culture. The Gen Y business travelers are by nature social, mobile and keen to manage their own travel and expenses while on the go.
- Social media strategies will be implemented by two-thirds of the global travel managers as a key action to improve the traveler experience.
- For every dollar invested in business travel, businesses experience an average $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits.
- U.S. business travel is responsible for 2.3 million American jobs; about one million American jobs are linked directly to meetings and events.
- A 10% increase in business travel spending would increase multi-factor productivity, leading to a U.S. GDP increase between 1.5% and 2.8%, according to The Return on Investment of U.S. Business Travel.
- Gens X and Y now make up almost half of all business travelers, with Baby Boomers down to 38%. Half of all business travelers are women. Business travel comprises 61% of chauffeured transportation industry revenues.
- There are about 10,400 limousine and charter bus operators in the U.S. Among limousine company owners, 85% are men and 15% are women. Two-thirds work out of an office, one third at home.
Business Travel Revenues
- 2012: $263.4 billion
- 2013: $277.2 billion
- 2014: $290 billion