Driven by consumer desires for new experiences, innovative technologies, and environmental impacts – travel is changing. Host Sarah Dandashy explores the technologies that power travel and the brands that build unforgettable experiences.

 

Say Yes to Travel brings its audience perspectives from all voices in the hospitality industry. This episode’s topic is private transportation, and host Sarah Dandashy spoke with David Seelinger, CEO of EmpireCLS. Dandashy, during her time as a concierge, often worked with the company.

For over 40 years, he’s been a pioneer in the industry, which didn’t change due to COVID-19. “The pandemic hit the industry hard, but we saw it as an opportunity to redesign our business.”

Seelinger and his team started a journey to revise driver protocols and cleaning.

“It’s a pretty touchless process now. Our chauffeurs wear N95 masks. We have HEPA filters in all cars and offer guests a mask that’s individually wrapped,” he explained.

They’ve also been using UVC light for sterilization. It’s now part of the AC and heating systems of buses. In the cars, drives use UV wands throughout the interior.

Another new option is passengers can request a chauffeur take a COVID test before pickup. “We’ve had a lot of calls for this, which aligns with the business we have now, which is mostly private aviation,” Seelinger shared.

EmpireCLS partnered with International SOS and worked with two infectious disease doctors to develop the standards, which they have certified.

What makes his business different than other alternative transportation is that all drivers are employees, not independent contractors. Thus, the protocols are standardized and applicable to all drivers, no matter where they are.

Seelinger is optimistic about recovery. The company took the downtime in the past year to develop a unique app with new features for customers. They are beta testing it right now and look forward to its launch once travel rebounds.

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