Wine Tours Build Business

Jim Luff
Posted on March 5, 2014

We have found a profitable way to give clients a place to go.
When sales began to fall as the big recession loomed over our industry, things had to change. No one was booking our big buses anymore as corporate accounts ceased spending money on outings and even the high-rollers became conservative in their spending. I had to figure out a way to keep the big buses rolling to make the payments.

I started selling seats on a bus instead of chartering the whole bus to one party. Please note, a special license is required to do this in California. You must have an “S” permit (issued by PUC) to run a sightseeing tour. The way around this is to have the bus chartered to an individual person (called “the host”) and then “assist” that person in marketing the bus seats. These seats are technically sold by the “host” rather than the limo company.

Well, here we are years later and what a tale I have to share with you. Those people who bought seats on the wine tours over the years have become limo clients. People from our community who were visiting wineries located two hours away saw our bus deliver loads of people. Those people call us to see when our next wine tour is so they can jump on the bus too. It has been nothing short of a windfall success.

People who enjoyed a day of wine tasting with us were exposed to the Limousine Scene brand name and have become loyal repeat clients of the wine tours as well as chartering other vehicles on their own.

The sky is the limit in choosing places you can go. You can go to sports events, wineries, casinos, amusement parks, the beach, shopping trips, museums or any other locations that might be nice get-aways from your hometown. I highly recommend it.
Before the recession, we would charter our bus for a 10-hour day for $2,025. Now, we can command $100 per seat for the same trip and have gross revenues of $2,500.  That’s about 23% more revenue on the same job. What? There was a recession?

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

Related Topics: customer service, Jim Luff, operations, Sales & Marketing

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