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Check-in with Suzanne

Hey everyone –

I am watching with awe as our industry and association prepare organizations to send their travelers safely and responsibly back on the road again in the coming weeks as pandemic situations allow.

We have continued with advocacy efforts to push for a smart and safe return of business travel, especially between the EU and the U.S. This week I wrote to both the EU Commission and the Biden Administration on behalf of members to reiterate the importance of a return to business travel for our industry.

In the EU, GBTA has been collaborating with the European Commission to help shape the new EU rules that will apply to computerized reservation systems (CRS). You can read more about the changes here.

Big news concerning the aviation industry and ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint: The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) together with Smart Freight Centre (SFC), just announced the development of new accounting guidelines for Sustainable Aviation Fuels. The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Greenhouse Gas Emission Accounting and Insetting Guidelines will be published early this summer. This new framework represents a true opportunity for global change and exponential progress toward decarbonizing flight and business travel. As the groups’ joint press release explains: “From fuel suppliers, air carriers, and logistics service providers (LSPs) to shippers of freight, corporations who use corporate travel, and travel management companies, stakeholders will be able to collaborate on accounting to meet mandated or voluntary emissions goals. The guidelines are aligned with recognized emissions accounting protocols, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and represent a clear and consistent set of rules that all reporting companies can use.” If you’re interested, you can learn more here. This announcement comes just a couple weeks before the restart of the GBTA Collaboratory series on June 2, with the first session focusing on sustainability.

We’re busy on the education front as well. We’re now two weeks into our landmark Ready.Safe.Travel. education series, with nearly 700 participants having joined. Thanks to those who’ve provided valuable content and sponsorship for these global + regional sessions – without you, it wouldn’t be possible! And I hope you saw our news yesterday about GBTA’s partnership with University of Virginia Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning on GBTA Academy’s Global Leadership Professional® (GLP) Program. If you missed it, check out the announcement here.


A few key GBTA things I want to nudge you on this week:

  • Bylaw Set 2 voting goes through this Friday. Thanks to those who have already exercised your member rights. And for those who haven’t yet – please vote!
  • GBTA Ladders’ participants celebrate many months of hard work with three days of “finals” this week. Good luck to the finalist teams: Team Anja & Philip, Team Doug & Lisa, Team Emma and Team Steve! My hats off to the leadership team of Rosemary, Christine, and Laura – and to the hundred Ladders members, mentors, and alumni who continue to make this such a valuable GBTA program. Learn more about GBTA Ladders here.
  • Sign up to run for a board seat. There are more seats than usual this year, due to events in 2020. From May 24-27 (between when Bylaw Set 2 voting closes and the nominations period closes) we will provide further guidance on the availability of regional seats. So watch this space!


News to Know

U.S. Announces Updated Mask Guidance: Late last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced further guidance that most fully vaccinated Americans can now attend indoor gatherings of any size without masks or social distancing, though masks are still required for travel. This is an encouraging step towards getting back to “normal” and rebuilding our industry.

Staffing Shortages Could Lead to Servicing Problems, Higher Prices: U.S. hotels and other suppliers are struggling to get workers back as demand heats up, according to several hotel company CEOs who have recently spoken out publicly about this issue. Ground transportation businesses and restaurants are also feeling the pinch, and all this is happening as demand begins to ramp up again for travel: On May 7, Transportation Security Administration officials screened more than 1.7 million people at U.S. airports – the highest number since before the pandemic. Read more here.

U.S. & U.K. Airline CEOs Push for Summit to Plan Travel Corridor: In a letter to the U.S. and U.K. Transportation Secretaries, executives from the major U.S. and U.K. airlines, along with the Airlines for America president and CEO, said the two countries’ vaccine rates are the “foundation for the U.K. and the U.S. to lead the world by demonstrating how to safely reopen this crucial air corridor.”

In Canada, Ottawa is Working on Canadian Travel Reopening Plans: The Transport Minister last week indicated work on restarting the travel sector has started and is ongoing, with prominent Canadian medical experts saying a summer of normal travel may be possible within Canada. This comes amid mounting frustration and pressure from Canadian businesses and an announcement from the Ontario Premier that he is extending the province’s stay-at-home order until at least June 2, including keeping schools and outdoor activities shuttered.


GBTA News & Reminders

GBTA Leaders Meet with Greek Tourism Attaché: Shane Downey and I had a productive meeting last week where we expressed our appreciation for all the efforts made by the Greek government as the first to remove quarantines when travelers can prove either full vaccination coverage or negative test results. We also shared GBTA’s positions on the EU Digital Green Certificate and on lifting restrictions on non-essential travel for vaccinated persons traveling to the EU. I’ll provide updates as they occur.

Register for GBTA Europe Town Hall on May 20: In addition to the latest GBTA news, Carol Fergus and Emma Wilson from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DE&I) will be speaking about the importance of DE&I and providing an introduction on how to get started. To register click here.


And because I never get tired of reminding you about this:

GBTA Bylaw Set 2 Voting Closes May 21; Call for GBTA Board Nominations Closes May 27: Please don’t let these deadlines pass without taking action! Vote by this Friday for the second set of Bylaw changes and submit nominations for GBTA Board positions, if you haven’t already done so. If you don’t have the links to vote and/or nominate, please contact Shane Downey, GBTA’s vice president of government and community relations: [email protected] or +1 703 236 1131. You may also contact Election Services Corporation directly: [email protected] or +1 866 720 HELP (4357).


Have a great rest of the week!


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