The hospitality industry is one of the key components of any economy, contributing to job creation and economic growth. One of the critical industries supporting hospitality is the taxi industry, providing a vital transportation service to people travelling to restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality establishments.
This International Hospitality Day, as we celebrate the contributions of taxis to the hospitality industry, let us explore four ways the taxi and hospitality industries thrive together.
1. Providing Safe and Reliable Transportation 24/7
Knowing they have a safe ride at the night's end, passengers feel encouraged to stay longer and spend more money in local restaurants, bars and nightlife venues. In the UK, pubs and bars can stay open until 2:00 am and clubs until 4:00 am in some cities, and only some have access to a car or public transit at those late hours. For this reason, reliable taxi services are essential to getting patrons home safely. In the UK, a study found that nine out of ten people feel safer using taxis to travel at night, leading to increased business for the hospitality industry, particularly in urban areas. The taxi industry in every country is essential in the transportation market, especially during late hours. By supporting customers during these peak hours, the taxi industry plays an integral part in contributing to the growth of hospitality businesses.
2. Enhancing Guest Experience
Taxi drivers are often guests' first and last point of contact. As a result, they play an essential role in shaping the guest experience. They ensure guests feel welcomed, comfortable, and valued when they enter the taxi. They provide a personal touch and often go the extra mile to make guests feel special.
In a survey by Hotels.com, London Cabs received a resounding vote of 22% as the best taxi service, outperforming their counterparts in New York by winning five out of seven categories, including driving quality, friendliness, knowledge of the city, cleanliness, and safety. This impressive achievement is due to the intense training licensed taxi drivers in London receive. They are required to know 315 routes within 10 kilometres (6 miles) radius of Cross Charing in London.
The hospitality industry greatly benefits from the taxi industry's efforts to offer all guests an inclusive experience. Thanks to trained taxi drivers, guests with disabilities, limited mobility or the elderly can fully access the hospitality services provided. Taxi drivers prove their efficiency by catering to the specific needs of each passenger. In the UK, many taxi drivers undergo a comprehensive training regime mandated to assist passengers with disabilities. Furthermore, many drivers take additional courses to boost their knowledge and expertise towards ensuring every guest has an enjoyable experience. The Australian taxi industry improves the guest experience by promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities. They offer drivers the free eLearning course, Introduction to Disability Awareness, to raise awareness of the legislative framework supporting inclusion in Australia. By completing this training, drivers can drive positive culture change and empower the industry to meet all guests' needs better.
3. Adapting to Changing Trends and Embracing Technology
As customer needs evolve, so does the complexity of providing satisfactory experiences. Technology continues to enhance the overall travelling experience. For a long time, booking a taxi has been the responsibility of the concierge or the front desk, among other services they provide. Today, purpose-built, one-click taxi booking devices allow venues to order multiple taxis during rush hours with just one push of a button. It also provides special needs, such as giving wheel-chair-friendly vehicles from trustworthy taxi companies.
QR Codes are one technology solution that allows venues such as hotels, bars, and restaurants to offer customers a seamless taxi booking experience. For example, Taxi Butler Guest QR is displayed at the venue, and customers can instantly scan the QR code to book a taxi. Without downloading an app or signing up, users select their destination, enter their contact details, and see their taxi on the map. They’ll see vehicle information on-screen and an estimated price for their trip.
Airport Taxi Services in the UK, a report by the Civil Aviation Authority, revealed that 25% of airport passengers use taxis for their transportation needs. Also, taxi companies are turning towards AI and machine learning to enhance their services and stay competitive. Wheely, a taxi company, is an example of one such company that uses machine learning algorithms to match customers with the best-suited drivers based on driver ratings, location, and vehicle type. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the market for AI in the transportation industry is predicted to reach $3.5 billion by 2023.
4. Promoting Collaboration
The taxi industry forms close-knit partnerships with the hospitality industry, promoting deals and discounts for each other's customers. For example, The "Hertz Taxi Club" programme from Hertz Australia provides registered taxi drivers with discounted rates. Similar to this, Thrifty Australia offers special rental prices and privileges to drivers through a programme called "Thrifty Taxi Club."
Taxi often work closely with other hospitality professionals, such as hotel staff, event coordinators, and tour operators. They collaborate to ensure guests have a seamless and enjoyable experience, with transport integral to the collaboration.
Thank you to all the taxi drivers and fleet owners for your unwavering dedication to supporting the hospitality industry to thrive. The taxi industry has been a reliable mode of transportation and has played a significant role in creating unforgettable experiences for guests and supporting the hospitality industry to thrive.