Check in with Suzanne
Adapting is the New Normal in Business Travel
Last week I presented on the topic of business travel recovery at a Citi Client Conference for an audience of senior procurement professionals from FTSE200 organizations. Also presenting was Ulrika Rosén, Travel & Meeting Manager for Tetra Pak, a leading global food processing and packaging company who said her company hasn’t stopped traveling throughout the pandemic. She said the company has more compliant travelers now than they had pre-pandemic – because business travelers can’t travel on auto-pilot anymore. That struck home.
Even experienced travelers are having to adapt to the new reality – one of more complexity and new considerations, from border restrictions to travel requirements to safety precautions. Organizations are already rethinking business travel and adapting as well. And there certainly will be more to come, thanks to the pandemic.
And speaking of safety, I’ve been listening to your feedback from last week’s Check-In on why GBTA isn’t just mandating vaccinations for attendees at this year’s Convention… The simple fact is that the State of Florida doesn’t legally allow it.
We are taking the most extensive precautions possible for our onsite event – you can read all the details here. In accordance with CDC recommendations, this includes GBTA will require all Convention attendees to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last three days prior to their entry into the Convention. Attendees may opt out of the pre-arrival testing requirement by voluntarily presenting proof of full vaccination. And everyone will be required to wear masks while onsite. And a positive sign is that ours is a vaccinated industry. In a recent GBTA COVID-19 industry poll, 90% reported being partially or fully vaccinated. Additionally, we continue to track the state’s mandates and challenges to those to see if other options become legally available in the run up to November.
And finally, I wanted to take a moment to recognize another event that greatly impacted our industry and so many lives. Saturday marked the somber 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th in the US. Business travelers and airline industry professionals were among the precious lives lost on the United Airlines and American Airlines flights that day. May we always remember them – and the many, many people who helped rebuild the travel ecosystem and who have created a safer future for our industry since that day.
News To Know
TakeTwo Travel Solutions – TMC Launched by Former CTM Duo
New start-up TMC TakeTwo Travel Solutions has been launched by CTM’s former CEO, Chris Thelen, and former general manager UK, Julie Cope. TakeTwo’s vision is to provide high-level personalized services, Thelen tells BTN Europe, “Everyone can have great technology now – there’s so much out there – but you’ve got to have the right structure, strategy and vision, and it’s about how you marry it with service and people and relationships.”
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts Opening New Responsible Tourism Location in Lima
After a strong 25-year presence in Latin America, Majorcan hotel group has chosen Peru as the new destination to strengthen its portfolio in America. The new Iberostar Selection Miraflores will be the first single-use plastic free hotel in Lima, reflecting Iberostar’s Group commitment to promoting responsible tourism.
Rapid Testing Lag in Canada
In some regions of the world, rapid tests are a commonly used tool, but in Canada these tests are few an far between. The StaySafe program in Ontario is offering do-it-yourself COVID-19 tests, which are heavily used and supported by locals. But elsewhere across Canada, tests aren’t being rolled out on a large scale.
GBTA News & Reminders
GBTA France Masterclass
Hosted by GBTA France, this Masterclass is designed for business travel and MICE professionals. It will feature expert buyers and suppliers who will shed light on the industry and share best practices for business travel in 2021.
Fundamentals of Strategic Meetings Management
Pioneers and thought leaders in meetings, procurement, and travel management have collaborated to create a road map and share best practices on how to create and manage an effective strategic meetings management program for your company.