Message From the Office of the GBTA President

*This post was originally sent as an email to GBTA members.*

As the spring season begins, GBTA continues to build on the momentum of their initiatives and events. Below is a brief update on what is happening at GBTA.

GBTA Education
To ensure GBTA is the preeminent source of continuing education in the industry, we recently launched a Blue Ribbon Education Panel to evaluate and enhance GBTA's educational offerings. Comprised of industry leaders, the panel will determine what content is most relevant and how best to deliver it in a way that creates a personalized education experience and career pathway for travel industry professionals. We want to ensure that GBTA's educational programming takes into account the needs of all our members, regardless of their industry tenure, position or membership type. Stay tuned for more information on this.

State of the Industry
Seven years ago last month, we changed our name from the National Business Travel Association to the Global Business Travel Association. With that name change, we effectively broadened our mission from a domestic focus to an international, worldwide vision. Making that change was a momentous decision that has served us well. The business travel marketplace has become truly global in scope.

As the marketplace evolves, so too must GBTA. As I announced recently at the Foundation Gala, in the coming months, GBTA, the Foundation and all the regions will come under one unified brand. The holistic GBTA will support one global community with one global brand on our one digital platform. The core values and activities of the individual regions and the Foundation's cutting-edge research and world-class education will continue unchanged. This year we will be conducting a number of new research projects and member-sponsored studies. And, of course, we will continue to produce and disseminate our trademark spending and pricing forecast studies.

Why the change, you may ask. Creating a single brand will enable us to deliver a consistently high-quality, global customer experience to meet our members' needs. With this exciting move, GBTA will continue to be the preeminent industry leader in events, research and professional development.

Committee Highlight: Government Relations Committee
For this month's Committee spotlight we look at the Government Relations Committee (GRC). The GRC promotes the interests of the business traveler and their companies through advocacy on legislative issues and initiatives designed to minimize adverse impacts on the business travel community. The Committee advocates for improvements in infrastructure, fair taxes and fees, and facilitation of travel around the world including trusted traveler programs, among others.

Navigating the political field is not an easy job, so to help us learn more, the GRC hosts the annual GBTA Legislative Summit. The Summit provides attendees with an opportunity to meet with Senators and Representatives, hear from Administration officials and Members of Congress, and learn more about the issues facing our industry. This year's Legislative Summit will be held on June 4-6, 2018, and has moved to a new venue at the landmark Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown Washington, D.C.

The Committee has also kicked off its 12th Annual Government Relations Challenge which is designed to draw attention to business travel issues and to push for favorable legislation on a national basis. Each of the Challenge tasks help engage our membership in raising the profile of the business travel industry. I hope to see you all at Legislative Summit 2018.

Mexico: GBTA just concluded its 12th annual conference in Mexico City. The conference brought together attendees from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to discuss the most pressing issues facing the industry. Topics covered everything from how to develop the best travel policy to the growing importance of Latin America for the airline industry.

Looking ahead: On April 16-18, GBTA will be hosting the Canada Conference in Toronto. This is the premier business travel event in Canada. Last year the event was sold out so don't delay in registering. On April 23, 2018, GBTA will be hosting the Brazil Conference in Curitiba. This is one of the most important corporate travel events in the southern region of the country. This event will feature educational sessions and networking opportunities.

We are celebrating GBTA's 50th Anniversary this year at Convention in San Diego from August 11-15. We'd like to hear about your favorite memories of past Conventions. Those memories can come in the form of pictures, videos, brochures or any memorabilia you may have of past events. If you have a great memory of your first Convention or a stand-out Convention, we want to hear about it. We have created an easy way to submit those memories, just click on this link. GBTA Convention will be here before we know it. I can't wait to see you there.

As always, thank you to our members for your continued support and commitment. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions you may have.


Christle Johnson currently serves as the Vice President of Travel & Business Services for Johnson Downie, a boutique executive search firm that specializes solely in partners of law firms. In addition to overseeing the meetings and travel for the employees, recruiters, candidates and firms they are working with, she is also tasked with the development and implementation of their travel program. Christle launched her career in the travel industry 23 years ago as a Sales Manager for a large regional travel agency before spending almost 15 years with National Car Rental as a Director, Strategic Accounts. Always seeking to improve her knowledge in the industry, Christle earned her Certified Corporate Travel Manager (CCTE) designation from GBTA and Cornell University (2007), her Certificate of Professional Development for completion of The Global Leadership Professional Program at The Wharton School (2009), her Global Leadership Professional (GLP) Designation from The Wharton School (2010), and her Global Travel Professional (GTP) Certification (2012). She has received numerous awards including the GBTA Business Travel Professional Service Award in 2009, the GBTA Foundation Scholarship Recipient in 2007 and was both the Austin BTA Allied Member of the Year and a Texas BTA Allied Member of the Year Nominee in 2003. She was elected to serve as President of GBTA during the 2015 Special Election and will serve a two-year term.

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