Check in with Suzanne
Hello everyone –
So much is happening in the thawing of COVID-frozen borders – I’d like to focus on Europe this week.
The EU Council and Parliament recently agreed to introduce “EU digital Covid certificates” to facilitate free movement across Europe beginning July 1. As news from the EU progresses on its borders opening up for inbound travelers, we at GBTA are actively engaging to ensure that business travelers are front of mind within these policies.
And there’s some good news: Last week we learned that seven EU countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland) have already started issuing the first EU certificates, almost a month ahead of schedule, and 4 of them – Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Germany (and France and Spain just this week) – announced that they will waive testing and quarantine requirements for in-bound travellers presenting proof of full vaccination or recovery.
GBTA and our members/partners welcome the introduction of these EU digital Covid certificates. We are actively meeting with European Union member states to promote the needs of business travelers amidst a unified return to travel – including, so far, EU attachés from Greece and Sweden (the latter joined by our partners from the Swedish Business Travel Association).
More action is needed and GBTA continues to stress the importance of a unified advocacy approach for business travel’s return across borders. Only a unified approach will ensure that business travel and the value it brings to economies, culture, and business growth will drive strong global recovery.
And it was a delightful change of pace to read mainstream media last week, agreeing with us on the return of business travel: https://www.wsj.com/articles/business-travel-is-coming-back-11622547001
The Road to Convention: As I shared last week, registration is now open for our annual Convention, November 17-19, in Orlando, Florida. Just announced: The November 17 main stage lunch session will feature an action-oriented conversation on sustainability with several notable guests, including Carlos Maurer, Royal Dutch Shell’s executive vice president of global commercial/sectors & decarbonization, and Paul Abbott, CEO of AMEX Global Business Travel, along with other industry change leaders in aviation and global travel programs. We’ll be sharing updates on other sessions and speakers as they are confirmed. You can click here to register for the Convention.
News to Know
Vaccine Rate Driving U.S. Lodging Recovery: In their Hospitality Directions report released last week, PwC upgraded their 2021 U.S. hotel occupancy rate projections to 57.2 percent – up from its 52.7 percent forecast last November – crediting vaccine deployment, additional federal fiscal support and long-term monetary policy strategies for the positive projection.
U.K. Green List of Destinations Not Being Expanded: The U.K. transport secretary confirmed that the U.S. will not be added to the green list, and seven countries are being added to the red list, from which arrivals are banned. Also last week, the European Commission proposed updating current COVID-19 travel criteria to allow Member States to gradually ease travel measures for those traveling within EU Member States. Click here to read about other proposed updates.
IATA Travel Pass Debuts in South America: Avianca Airlines will be the first company in the region to use the digital passport – developed to facilitate health checks on international flights – beginning with a pilot program on flights between Bogota and Miami. More promising news: More international airlines have returned to the Mexican Caribbean, helping to reactivate tourism to the area.
Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable Pushes Re-opening of Travel: The Roundtable, of which GBTA Canada is a member, is calling on the government to immediately release an implementation plan based on the recommendations made in the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel report, saying “Canadians are doing their part in getting vaccinated; now it is time to provide clear, timely, and safe guidance on reopening travel and reuniting families and friends.”
GBTA News & Reminders
Hear from GBTA Board of Director Candidates on June 15: Please make time to attend the virtual Global Candidate Forum to hear from those running for the open board seats. Candidates will be sharing their visions for GBTA before voting begins on June 21. Register here for this important session.
GBTA LATAM Town Hall is This Thursday: During this June 10 meeting, you’ll hear an update from Nidia Quintero, vice chair of the GBTA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) committee. Attend and learn why DEI should be a priority in your company. Register here.
Have a great week and stay healthy,