Booming car rental market, luxury limo rentals not so much – Industry insiders


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The increase in the number of tourist visits to Macau and the wider integration of the Great Bay region have resulted in an increase in demand for rental cars in the city. However, the luxury car rental services industry has seen better days, industry insiders told MNA.

Several car rental companies have seen their businesses expand since the gaming industry began to expand in the 2000s, but the expected increase in the number and movement of tourists comes from the region’s development plan. the Great Bay and the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to the public last year, had led the sector to become very optimistic about its future prospects.

“Burgeon Rent a Car Limited was founded in 2007 when there was only one rental company. At that time, the gaming industry was emerging and many people were renting cars. Our company was created because car rental services were scarce, ”the company’s director of administration and human resources, Rain Lin, told MNA.

Since the opening of the gambling market in Macau in 2002 and the opening of the free individual travel visa in 2003, the number of visitors to Macau has steadily increased year by year.

In 2002, the number of inbound tourists coming to Macau was around 11.53 million, with the number swelling to 35.8 million in 2018, according to data released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).

DSEC info also shows that over the past 10 years, tourists from mainland China have consistently accounted for over 50% of visitors to Macau.

According to Ms. Lin, most of her company’s clients are mainland Chinese tourists, but some clients are from Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

Multi-purpose vehicle van, one of the most common rental car models in the city

Burgeon Rent A Car Limited offers two main models of rental cars, a Kia Picanto for Autonomous Macau and a Driver-Supplied Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV), typically rented to integrated resorts or individual tourists.

“About 80 to 90% of the company’s revenue comes from contracts with resorts. The Venetian, Starworld, Sands Macao and so on have cooperated with our company. Ms. Lin added.

The company now has 40 minivans in total, all parked in the Ocean Gardens car park.

“For example, like concerts, conventions, events or VIP guests, etc., the resort contacts our company. We will then send them a team of cars with driver, “Ms. Lin said,” the service usually goes to hotels, or the airport, ferry terminal, convention centers, etc.

Individual rental Kia Picanto

There are also a few car rentals for private customers, the rental being calculated on an hourly basis.

“Individuals generally rent self-driving cars like a Kia, but these customers are in the minority. Since the price is reasonable, the people who hire driverless cars are usually from Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and a small number of locals who bring relatives and friends to Macau, ”said Ms. Lin.

According to Ms. Lin, the company’s profits and losses are closely linked to mainland Chinese policies.

After the Chinese government launched a large-scale corruption crackdown in 2014 and the decline in Macau’s gaming revenues that followed, the car rental business also suffered, she said. .

“But our company is optimistic about the development prospects of this industry,” said Ms. Lin, “because China is developing the Great Bay region and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge has just opened. We are now operating cross-border services and we believe that the demand for car rental services for future customers will increase, ”Ms. Lin told MNA.

No room for limousines

Ms. Lin also added that in the past, the company rented limousines for weddings, but since demand was low and drivers who could drive such vehicles are scarce, the company decided to terminate this service.

Currently, Macao Car Rental Lynx Limousine Service is the only company in Asia to offer limousines for hire, executive director Fei Danxia told MNA.

Macau Car Rental Lynx Limousine Service was founded in 2008 and currently has three limousines available, with a base rental price per hour of 1000 MOP (123 USD).

“Lynx Limo meets all transportation needs,” Ms. Fei said. “Most people rent it out for parties, city tours, and wedding services.”

Foreign tourists – Indians and Koreans – are said to be the company’s main customers, with most people only renting a limousine for one to two hours.

“They usually rent the car to look at the Macau night view and take pictures. […] Westerners mainly rent it to party and drink champagne because they know how to enjoy life, ”Ms. Fei told MNA.

Interior limousine area

According to the executive director of Lynx Limo, two years ago, business was better because the company had cooperation contracts with hotel complexes and bars that allowed its cars to park directly at the entrance to the hotel. ‘hotel.

However, since 2018 these contracts have been terminated and the company is not doing as well. There were only three people renting limousines in July of this year, ”she added.

Ms. Fei said that since the business outlook is bleak, her boss wanted to quit the business. However, she believes that Macau is supposed to be the Las Vegas of the East, so these cars should be part of the local scene.

After all, she still wants to keep the business going by searching for clients through the internet or travel agencies, while also seeking cooperation with resorts, casinos and bars to increase her income.

Lynx Limo Executive Director Fei Danxia

The company is currently seeking cooperation with the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), but the deal is still at the consultation stage.

“If the customer is traveling to Macau from anywhere, we will offer limousine pickup and drop-off,” Ms. Fei added.

Macau Limousine Service has launched cross-border limousine services for locations in the Grand Bay area since February of this year.

* Written by Jing Wu, edited by Nelson Moura

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Pamela W. Robbins