Check-in with Suzanne

Hello Everyone,


Time to check in!


These are such good words, ones we’d all love to see regularly again in our travel apps – anticipating the meetings, agendas, relationships, and business success driving us to travel in the first place.


So, it’s week two for me at GBTA! And it’s time for me to check in with you.


I hope you were able to celebrate International Women’s Day with me yesterday as we recognized nearly 60 deserving women (and a few men!) from around the world at our WINiT Awards and Virtual Gala. If you missed it, we will be posting a recording of the 90-minute event,  graciously sponsored by Cvent, United for Business and CTM. The recording will be accessible via our home page and the GBTA Hub. Congratulations to all the winners and those nominated – what talent we have in our industry!


As I listened in and spoke with more of you in the past few days, I’ve been so pleased to confirm the resilience of GBTA’s mission. It’s all about members… connections at the local/regional/global level, and collective expertise. We are also a marketplace of ideas. And we are better as an industry when we are all strong, doing what we love.


Completing my first two full weeks as GBTA’s new CEO today, I’m struck so positively by your commitment to the Association and to each other. You are passionate about wanting to connect and learn – better and faster and online! And you also value advocacy as never before – something that Shane Downey and others on my GBTA team are shaping with the help of U.S., European and Canadian policy experts. You are convinced that GBTA amplifies your voice from within business travel – and also within your companies as you and your leadership look for the right approach to getting travel started again to drive employee and business success.


At a local level, our chapter leaders are our grassroots community organizations who drive smart programming, networking and career-connecting opportunities. We have such a powerful network of volunteers, and I appreciate you for all the time, ideas, and communications you share with each other and your members.


This week I will meet our committee leaders as well as our Allied Leadership Council – among many others – and I can’t wait to listen and learn more.


And one final request: If we launch a flash poll now and then over the coming weeks, I hope you will participate and give us quick feedback, so my talented staff and I can use this data to help us shape the best possible programming in the coming months.


Here’s More News to Know


U.S. Travel Association – Opening Up Business Travel a Driving Factor in Recovery: Last week, USTA president and CEO Roger Dow announced that the key to travel recovery will be reopening business travel. Regarding corporate travel departments, Dow said, “When they do start to travel more, and they are starting now with small meetings, one thing that will spur it is when one organization sees another pick up market share because people had been there face-to-face… That will be a driving factor.” Click here to read more.


Tighter EU Legislation: Are You Up-to-Date? Post Brexit, the EU is requiring both EU and non-EU travelers to obtain A1 social security certificates, and in some cases, file Posted Worker notifications before undertaking work trips. The impact on employers is significant, with fines for non-compliance. GBTA and partner VDR have been lobbying Brussels to exempt business trips up to a certain stay length for the A1. It’s estimated that this would remove 95% of its members’ business trips from the scope of A1. To learn how this legislation will impact your organization, please watch “The ABC of A1 Regulations and Posted Workers Directives,” a webinar put together by GBTA Europe.


China Sets COVID-19 Vaccination Goal: According to Zhong Nanshan, the leader of a group of experts attached to the National Health Commission, China aims to vaccinate 40% of its population by June 2021. The country has been slow to vaccinate, giving 3.56 doses per 100 people so far, compared to Israel, the fastest to vaccinate, which has given 94 doses per 100 people. The slow vaccination pace is attributed to the country’s success in controlling the outbreak through mitigation measures. Click here to read more.


Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Approved in Canada: Last week, Canada’s health regulator authorized the use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. Canada has ordered 10 million doses of this vaccine, with the option for another 28 million. Leaders are hopeful the new vaccine will help significantly boost the country’s vaccination rate. Click here to read more.


More exciting news in Canada… GBTA Canada’s Nancy Tudorache has been invited to sit on Canada’s Provincial Government Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Taskforce. This gives GBTA an important presence in a group that will be advising the Ontario Provincial Government on strategies, tactics and approaches the government should consider when reopening travel and tourism in Ontario, Canada’s largest province.


GBTA News & Reminders:


Listening Tour Begins Next Week: I’m excited to announce that dates for my listening tour have been set! This listening tour gives me the chance to check in with you in real time – our members, industry leaders, suppliers and sponsors. I’ll be sharing a bit about me and my vision for GBTA and taking your questions, submitted in advance. Click here to submit your questions.

  • March 16: Europe Listening Tour session, during the GBTA Europe Town Hall
  • March 23: US. East Region Listening Tour session – register
  • March 24: US. Midwest Region Listening Tour session – register
  • March 25: LATAM Listening Tour session, during the GBTA LATAM Town Hall
  • March 25: US. West Region Listening Tour session – register
  • March 29: Eastern Canada Listening Tour session – register
  • March 31: Western Canada Listening Tour – register


GBTA Coronavirus Poll #17 – Please Share Your Viewpoint: The GBTA coronavirus polling series launched at the start of the pandemic, and it’s still going. An email has been sent to collect your responses for our 17th poll in the series. Please help us get the best data possible to help with our advocacy efforts, by taking the poll and sharing your viewpoint.


Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming GBTA Meetings, Events & Deadlines:



Brief closing


So that’s a wrap for this week’s Check-in – but there’s plenty more to do before the weekend (and plenty of time to do it)!


Stay well – and don’t forget to check in with someone else whom you haven’t heard from in a while.