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Check-in With Suzanne

Fresh from the GBTA Convention in Orlando last week, I am still processing many of the amazing moments. Coming back together truly reinforces the power and value of meeting in person.  

Feedback that kept coming up in discussions with Convention attendees last week centered around quality. Quality of the content featuring important topics for our industry right now. Quality in the  education programs offered across all levels. And quality in the meetings held on the Expo floor and in the hallways. Many education sessions reached capacity and roundtables were robust. Engagement was high. And connecting with each other on a personal level was invigorating for so many, including me. 

This wasn’t a business-as-usual event for GBTA, and there were a lot of “firsts” at Convention 2021. This was a year where expertise took prominence on the Main Stage. It was a year where the topics, sessions and speakers aligned for the changing times we’re in as an industry–and even a global society–including: 

  • Forecasts and data to help us better understand business travel’s recovery and the landscape ahead 
  • Insights on how we should be thinking and adapting our companies, employees and ourselves for the future of work   
  • Frank conversations, real stories and actionable takeaways around diversity, equity and inclusion 
  • And the beginnings of our industry’s journey and future focus on sustainability  

And there were a lot of “firsts” that happened this year specifically for health and safety reasons–from mask wearing and boxed lunches, to the most hygienic options of expo flooring. Conventioning in a pandemic is a challenge. We thank everyone who attended for their flexibility and graciousness in helping us make our event as safe and responsible as possible. 

Do you want even more out of your convention experience? Registered attendees can re-watch main stage sessions on-demand via the GBTA Convention app (“My Convention Planner” > go to the session > “Handouts” section). Couldn’t attend? Catch the best of the Main Stage and education sessions with Convention Replay, which begins November 29.   

And if you attended, we truly do want to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to fill out the convention survey in your inbox. 

It was great to see so many of you, and I look forward to being face-to-face again at the GBTA Conference 2021 in Berlin in partnership with VDR in just a couple of weeks. 





News To Know 

Air Canada to build new agency platform with Farenexus Group 

Air Canada has appointed Farenexus Group as their technology partner to build a new platform for travel agencies. Calling it AC Connex, it will provide agencies with full Air Canada NDC content featuring profile integration.  

Half of the world’s population is at least partially vaccinated, how does Latin America stack up? 

Over 51% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19. Some Latin American countries exceed the world average, but others lag behind. Looking at the regional level, South America has a partial vaccination rate of 69.59% and North America has a rate of 61.87%.  

Key Travel and Expedia offering hotel carbon offsetting 

Specialist TMC Key Travel has partnered with Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS) to offer carbon-neutral hotel rooms for business travel. With the new program Key Travel clients booking through EPS, the two companies will pay to offset the carbon emissions of the booking. All funds go to San Francisco based non-profit, Cool Effect, which invests the money in verified carbon reduction projects around the world.  

Thousands will join together in Times Square in New York to celebrate NYE with proof of vaccination 

 New York City will once again welcome thousands to Times Square for the iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop tradition. All attendees will be required to provide proof of vaccination. New York City mayor announced the return of the “big, strong, full strength” in-person celebration last week, saying he’s been working with the NYC Department of Health, the NYPD, and other partners in preparation for the festivities.  


GBTA News & Reminders 

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. 

Travel Risk Management Bootcamp: Understanding and Implementing ISO31030 

Explore Travel Risk Management in the context of the new ISO 31030 standard and gain the tools and confidence to update and/or create a robust system within your organization. This one-day course, led by travel risk management experts Global Secure Accreditation in conjunction with GBTA and the Anvil Group, is designed to give practical guidance to anyone involved in building and managing corporate travel programs.