This time last year was a low point for the livery industry. The spring and summer of 2020 were devastating months for many limo operators and black car fleets which recorded business was down by as much as 98% in comparison to 2019.
COVID-19 ruined the 2020 graduation and prom season, canceled weddings, bachelor parties, and events; it caused airport runs to run dry and casino shuttles to come to a halt. Despite increased attention to sanitization, demand for coach, party bus, and limousine services was way down. And this unprecedented downturn unfortunately led to widespread layoffs for both office staff and drivers. Some luxury transportation had to cut the number of employees by 60-70%, down to the bare bones.
Thankfully, it looks like the worst is behind us. There are some important signs of recovery and signs that business will be booming in 2021 and beyond.
“The global taxi and limousine services market witnessed a rapid growth in the historic period from 2016 to 2019 and is significant is forecasted in the coming years through 2027.”Reports Globe
Let’s take a look at some other positive signals that business will be coming back for the livery industry.
Wedding Season 2021 – 2022
Vendors in the wedding industry are seeing positive signs of a post-pandemic boom these days. With Covid-19 vaccinations readily available, relaxed restrictions and mask guidelines, couples are re-making their wedding plans. In fact, this year and next year, are expected to see more ceremonies than usual on account of the nearly 50% of couples who chose to postpone their plans from 2020 to 2021. Momentum has already been noted as wedding venues and caterers have seen an uptick in leads and bookings for this summer, fall, and also next spring.
Limousine services and luxury car rentals have been able to capture increasing bookings as well. According to Silverline Limousines & Wedding Cars, 90% of their customers who had canceled their nuptials due to the coronavirus pandemic have already set a new date. One successful tactic for retaining rides already booked and attracting more for upcoming weddings and events is to offer flexible scheduling. These days, couples are more likely to hire a limousine if they are able to move the date, as needed, at no extra charge.
Vacations & Travel Are Picking Up
After more than a year of travel restrictions and recommendations to avoid unnecessary travel, it seems like Americans are ready to get out and about again. According to the TSA, over the Memorial Day weekend, airports were busier than they had been since the beginning of the pandemic. Vacationers also filled restaurants, beaches, and event stadiums over the holiday weekend.
Cruise ships are starting to set sail from U.S. ports as well. In late May, the first cruises were approved by the CDC to board travelers and headed out to sea after being docked for a year.
Summer travel reservations have gone up 214% in comparison to last year and is currently expecting 80% of the air travel demand seen in July 2019. United and other airlines have added hundreds of more flights for the month of July as travel demand soars. Delta has also noted a steep increase in bookings for August and September, which is a good sign that the demand for airport runs will soon return in full force.
As for business travel, there is still uncertainty about if and when it will come back as we knew it before the pandemic. Yet, according to data from TravelPerk, a corporate travel management agency, says that domestic business travel in America is already at 75% of the pre-pandemic peak.
Vegas Has Re-Opened
In recent months, strip clubs and other hot spots have been offering perks for customers with COVID-19 vaccination cards. For example, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club offered platinum membership, free drinks, dances, and limo transportation with proof of vaccination. Other locations on the Strip even setup mobile vaccination sites for employees and clientele.
At the beginning of the month, crowds celebrated the official reopening of Las Vegas. A countdown clocked marked the exact time when business could finally operate at full capacity and casinos could remove plexiglass partitions around slot machines. The moment was warmly welcomed by visitors and locals alike, with live music and no mask or social distancing required.
Now that the vaccine rollout is in full force, hotels are booked at 80% occupancy on the weekends and are about 50% full on weekdays. Meetings and trade shows are predicted to bounce back as well with most convention spaces are booked from mid-year through the end of 2021.
The wedding industry in Vegas, which was in serious danger at this time last year, is now having trouble keeping up with demand. Vegas wedding planners have been handling rushed requests for flowers, cakes, and limo companies for a boom of last-minute ceremonies as couples prove that they don’t want to wait any longer.
With gamblers, couples, and vacationers flocking to Las Vegas, we are starting to see more limousines and party buses rolling through town. “We went from ‘ghost town’ to seeing people. It’s a good feeling,” explains Alan Goldstein, the owner of Elite Transportation. Luxury transportation companies in Vegas agree, that business will be back to normal once business and international travel return.
Related article: How to Rebuild Your Workforce During a Labor Shortage.
Get Back to Business with LimoLive24
Focus on managing your fleet, rather than answering your phone. LimoLive24 handles all the scheduling and phone calls, so that you don’t have to and without hiring a full-time receptionist. While the luxury transport industry is experiencing this quick rise in business, it’s also facing labor shortages to support growth and this is exactly where LL24 can help. It’s the most cost-effective solution for operators who are ready to get back to business.