| |

Check-in with Suzanne

Hello everyone,

The question I get asked most these days is: “How are things in NYC?” It’s where I live and walk and work – and well, I’m usually just sticking around in my own neighborhood.

But last weekend I got out for a 21-mile e-bike ride around Manhattan – and I have to say, the new view from NYC is that recovery is well underway. From the opening of NYC’s newest Hudson River park, “The Little Island,” to formerly sheltering-in-place seniors enjoying outdoor exercise near the Lower East Side bridges, to trendy shoppers in SoHo, to some of the same old bustle around Times Square… this world-class city which saw so much pandemic pain a year ago appears ready for what’s next. And I’m confident that business travelers who in the past lined NYC’s midtown sidewalks and airports will find their way back in droves soon.

I’ve also enjoyed a few in-person coffee meet-ups with industry colleagues here, which at first felt clandestine and now feels practically normal again. I hope you’re able to get back to this normal business activity again soon, too. And I welcome getting stories about recovery from your region of the world. As you and your travelers get on the road again, let us know how it’s going; email us at [email protected].

Up next – on association recovery and evolution – we shared yesterday the big news that Bylaw Set 2 passed overwhelmingly. This will mean an opportunity for a regular refresh of board talent as well as regional voting representation from Canada and Europe for the first time. You have just a few more days (until May 27th) to submit your name for one of the open seats. Please consider it!


Registration for GBTA Convention 2021 Opening June 2: The GBTA Convention, November 17-19 in Orlando, Florida, will be the first time we’re all coming together in person since 2019, so you don’t want to miss it. Be on the lookout next Tuesday for an email with a direct link to the registration page.


News to Know

A Sense of Confidence in the Return of Business Travel: In a study echoing our own findings in the GBTA COVID-19 Member Poll (see more details in the section below), SAP Concur’s recent global business travel poll found 96 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to take a business trip within the following 12 months. Interestingly, a majority said that they want to return to business travel, but on the condition that employers implement policies or measures to help protect their health and safety.

EU Lands on Digital COVID Certificate Framework: Under the deal between the EU Parliament and Council, the certificate will attest that a person has been vaccinated against coronavirus, has a recent negative test result or has recovered from the infection. Member states will issue certificates that will then be accepted in other EU countries. Read GBTA’s statement of support here.

On the international travel front… Ambassadors of the 27 EU member states last week agreed that those who’ve received EU-approved COVID-19 vaccinations should be allowed entry to the bloc and the member states agreed to ease the criteria on ‘safe countries’ from which all residents would be allowed entry.

Argentina Goes Into Lockdown Amid Soaring COVID Cases: Argentina’s government last week introduced tighter COVID-19 restrictions, as the nation sees its highest case numbers since the start of the pandemic.


GBTA News & Reminders

Latest GBTA COVID-19 Poll Results Are the Most Positive Yet: The results from the 19th poll in the series show increasing optimism, growing momentum for a return to business travel and an increase in bookings. I encourage you to take a read of the full results or key highlights by clicking here.

GBTA Collaboratory Series Re-launches: Our webinar series was so well attended last year that we’re bringing it back! Registration is now open for the first session, on June 2: “Sustainability…the Road to Convention.” We’ll be welcoming experts in the areas of sustainability in aviation, lodging, and more. It’s free for members and you can register here.

Congratulations to the GBTA Ladders Winners! The 2020-2021 season of GBTA’s highly regarded mentor, education and leadership program has concluded and the winners are:

  • Mentee of the Year – Katherine Tomasi
  • Mentor of the Year – Steve Proud
  • Outstanding Contribution – Grace Knowlton

A special thank you to the volunteer mentors who helped make this year’s program so successful: Rosemary Maloney from Sprinklr, Laura Choules with Global Hotel Alliance and Christina Reichelt from World Travel. Click here for more information on the GBTA Ladders program.

GBTA LATAM Town Hall on June 10: Register here for this important session where the topic will be Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I). Nidia Quintero, vice chair of the GBTA DE&I Committee, will be providing an update on the committee’s work and discussing why DE&I is so important in companies.


As we take another step closer to June, I hope you’re as energized as I am about the increasingly positive news for our industry. Stay well.