Check-In with Suzanne

Realizing the Upside in the Unexpected 

Is anyone completely comfortable yet with “expecting the unexpected”? Me either. Not an easy task in current times, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some upsides amid the challenges. 

The omicron variant is one of the latest developments testing our resolve. On Thursday, GBTA will release the findings from our special quick poll about the emergence of omicron as another twist in the story of business travel’s recovery. Thank you to the 500+ industry professionals who responded to share their views. 

Like most of our industry, GBTA has been tackling the unexpected. This included navigating all that was required to safely and responsibly host our GBTA Convention in Orlando last month, to shifting plans and dates to late February/early March 2022 for our GBTA Conference in Berlin, and more.  

I believe we have come through it as a more transparent, member focused, and conscious organization. As we head into 2022, I want to reassure you that GBTA is on strong financial footing with a timely, relevant and strategic focus as we continue our mission to connect the people who connect the world. Thanks to you, your companies and organizations for the strong support over these many months to get to this point of the recovery. 

In terms of upsides for me personally, I’ve taken the opportunity to become a tourist in my home city of New York. The city is back and bustling with people visiting and doing business. I’ve started re-connecting, grabbing coffee with colleagues, lunch with members, and attending local industry events, all the while keeping safety at the forefront. I am invigorated by these connections and continue to value face-to-face meetings, and look forward to more in the year to come. 

Every day we’re all learning and finding ways to make it work. Hopefully, our collective road ahead in business travel is a bit straighter than the one behind us. But until then, here’s to the upsides. 

Suzanne 

 

News To Know 

Colombia begins to require PCR test and vaccination to enter the country.
As of December 14thall passengers entering Columbia must have at least one dose of a vaccine and a negative PCR test in order to enter the country. This change represents a complete turn for the country, however, most countries in the region and in Colombia’s main outbound markets already have well-advanced vaccination programs, so this is not expected to be detrimental to tourism. 

European travel powerhouse and 6 other places at ‘very high’ risk for Covid-19, CDC says 

France and six other countries have been moved to Level 4, the CDC’s highest-risk category last week. France was the world’s top destination for international tourist arrivals pre-pandemic, according to 2019 figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization. They now join Andorra, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Jordan, and Tanzania at Level 4. In its broader travel guidance, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated, “Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread Covid-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some Covid-19 variants,” 

Here’s what Health Minister Duclos is saying now about travel in the coming weeks 

When asked if he had a clear message for travel or gatherings over the holidays, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos responded, “Outside of Canada, the situation [in light of the omicron variant] is evolving very rapidly… And things can change rapidly. In some European countries, things are getting very complicated [with the spread of omicron].” As announced last month, all air arrivals to Canada except from the U.S. must be tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate until the results are known. As of Dec. 9, Canada’s airports were processing 17,000 tests per day. The goal is to reach 23,000, said Duclos. “We are gradually ramping up testing capacity at the airports,” he said. 

NH Hotel Group launches dedicated corporate website
The new platform, named NH Pro, offers personalized management solutions and where users will be able to compare business rates and manage bookings.  

 

GBTA News & Reminders 

GBTA Latin America held its last virtual Town Hall of the year, with a Live cocktail at Mexico City 

 With over 50 attendees at Zoom, having Sustainability as the key content for the last town hall of the year, GBTA LATAM celebrated its last formal activity for 2021. During the afternoon, the live component was a Cocktail hosted by IHG Hotels & Resorts that had over 40 attendees that made the event a perfect mix between virtual and live. 

GBTA Canada Town Hall: Year in Review 

During our final GBTA Canada Town Hall of 2021, we will be sharing the Canadian specific details surrounding our revised BTI™ Outlook and will also include our Canadian pricing forecast for the business travel industry.  In addition, we will highlight what’s in store for GBTA Canada in 2022. Register for free today 

GBTA Convention Replay 

Can’t make it to Orlando for GBTA Convention? Don’t miss out on the new, unique experience, check out Convention Replay! With 5 livestreaming Main Stage sessions, 25 educational sessions, virtual exhibitor connections, and more, you can reap the value of the business travel industry’s flagship gathering in a way that’s right for you. 

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