CalTravel CEO John Severini spoke Sept. 19 during the GCLA Expo & Tradeshow held outdoors in Costa Mesa, Calif., about the common interests of limousine and charter bus operators and state travel and tourism businesses.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Two key groups representing the California travel industry and state limousine operators formally launched an alliance last Wednesday that will work toward easing regulations and promoting opportunities for travel-related businesses and chauffeured transportation and charter bus businesses alike.
John Severini, the CEO of the California Travel Association, outlined the benefits and goals of the partnership during his keynote presentation at the annual Greater California Livery Association Expo and Tradeshow in Costa Mesa Sept. 19. The GCLA is now a member of CalTravel, the leading collective advocacy voice for all of California’s tourism industry that speaks on behalf of the 900,000 tourism jobs in the state.
CalTravel, along with the state’s travel promotion group Visit California, actively work to bring more leisure tourists, business travelers, and convention goers to a state considered one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the world. The more visitor traffic the state gets, the more charter buses and chauffeured vehicles hit the road to transport a good percentage of them.
Yet the visitor flow cannot be taken for granted, despite the state’s abundant and diverse attractions and amenities, Severini said. Bad bills and harmful legislation and regulations must constantly be monitored and fought. And then there is always the possibility of new ones coming through a very activist oriented government.
“We still have bills and legislation that may be introduced that will hurt businesses in the GCLA,” Severini said.
To protect business capital investments and promotion expenses, CalTravel’s primarily focuses on three fronts:
- Fight against bills that hurt business and burden them with unnecessary and onerous costs.
- Encourage legislation that strengthens travel and tourism business.
- Work with legislature to educate them on the contribution of travel and tourism to economy, jobs and tax revenues.
Limousine operators who want to join in promoting tourism and corporate travel business opportunities as well as protecting them can take any or all of the following steps:
- Join CalTravel’s free Advocacy Army, which entitles members to the “3 Minute Advoacte,” a desktop solution that receives notices and then allows members through a point and click to send pre-scripted messages to legislative representatives. Operators can easily become advocates on travel and tourism issues that affect their businesses directly.
- Contribute to the CalTravel PAC Fund which is used for candidates in California friendly to travel, tourism and transportation related businesses. The GCLA already has contributed about $7,000. GCLA members can contribute in three ways: 1) A personal contribution with check payable to the California Travel Association PAC, 2) A company contribution made payable to the California Travel Association PAC, or 3) A check or credit card made payable to the GCLA which then forwards it to the CalTravel PAC. For more information on the CalTravelPAC: Brad Burlingame at [email protected], or (310) 289-2525, or staff at [email protected], or (916) 932-2580.
- Become a full member of CalTravel for $200 per year, which includes savings on industry events, research, communication, etc.
“Advocacy and our efforts can be compared to the insurance your carry for automobiles, home or health,” Severini said. “You insure what is valuable to you. Similarly, advocacy is “insurance’ for your investments and promotional spend. That’s our role.”
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor
Related LCT article: Limousine Industry Fellow Travelers in California