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The nonstop growth in inter-continental trade and business travel will yield more business opportunities for chauffeured vehicle operators, despite temporary setbacks from economic slowdowns and debt crises.
In this environment, U.S. operators who think globally can benefit from the increasing number of luxury transportation clients heading to other continents to conduct routine business.
Diverse market types
With wider globalization, two general foreign markets for chauffeured transportation have taken shape:
- Mature cities and nations that have established business ties with the U.S. going back decades. These would include such perennial foreign destinations such as London, Paris, Frankfurt and most major Western and Central European cities and nations.
- Emerging markets sparked by natural resource discoveries such as oil and natural gas, the migration of labor markets, lower, flatter tax structures, and greater freedom to trade — all accelerated by Internet-driven commerce via laptops and smartphones.
It is these emerging markets that are the ones to watch and study, as they bring new opportunities but with some operating challenges that require close attention to details and cultural differences. Key emerging markets would include: New Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, to name a sampling.
Of these, China is projected to match or surpass the U.S. within the next five years in global travel spending, according to studies by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
“There are huge opportunities for successful operators to grow outside of the U.S.,” says Scott Solombrino, CEO of Boston-based Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network and the President of the Allied Leadership Council of the GBTA. “We look at these as growth opportunities and growth markets as well with a built-in customer base.”