Check-In with Suzanne

Welcome back to the New Year! I hope you had the chance to enjoy the magic of the holiday season and share some meaningful moments with the people you care about most. That’s what really matters.

I took some “real” time off and so did all the GBTA staff with a week-long holiday hiatus – we noticed how refreshed and ready we feel coming to work. Reflecting on my break, I was reminded that quality time “away” makes for better time “in” – in other words, not keeping the work mind idling in “park” while away, but actually shutting off the motor for several days in a row. Whether in our personal or professional lives, being mindful and being present makes for meaningful connections with family, friends, and colleagues.

And now it’s on to 2022… With (cautious) optimism, I am looking forward to a year of meaningful recovery for the business travel industry. I also know it will be a year where we will all continue to grow, adapt, evolve and achieve.

At GBTA, we have a lot lined up to rejuvenate our industry, help keep professionalism and learning high for our constituents, and pursue sustainability initiatives in a big, new way. Also make sure you check out the GBTA Member Hub which has relaunched with an upgrade to enable members to keep in better touch with each other. And several of our in-person events (put on hiatus these past two years) will be back – pandemic-willing.

We are also happy to welcome to the GBTA team this week Delphine Millot, who joins as our New York City-based leader of our global sustainability efforts and has previously worked with us extensively on our public affairs and advocacy initiatives in Europe. Look for more to come!

So here’s to a wonderful 2022 and working with all of you across our global business travel community. There is so much to achieve together.

News To Know 

Amex GBT Names Tonge U.K. General Manager 

American Express Global Business Travel has appointed Rachel Tonge to lead its business operations in the United Kingdom, the company announced Monday. Tonge, who has been with Amex GBT for five years, will “lead the return of business travel in the U.K.” as U.K. VP and general manager, according to the TMC.  

Venezuela Resumes Children Vaccination and Presential Learning 

On Monday, Venezuela resumed face-to-face learning for over eight million elementary and high-school students and COVID-19 vaccination for children older than two years. “Accelerating children immunization is essential to ensure a safe return to schools,” Health Minister Carlos Alvarado stated and urged students to comply with COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks and disinfecting their hands regularly. 

CDC determines Canada to be ‘very high’ risk for travel 

Canada was moved to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s highest-risk category for travel on Monday. The world’s second-largest country by total area, Canada has seen a steep rise in cases as the Omicron variant spreads. The country recorded 294,437 new cases for the week ending January 8, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, its highest weekly total of the pandemic. Canada was joined by one other destination — the Caribbean island of Curaçao — in moving up to the CDC’s Level 4: Covid-19 Very High category on Monday. The CDC places a destination at Level 4 when more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents are registered in the past 28 days. The CDC advises travelers to avoid travel to Level 4 countries. 

RBC CEO McKay looks for deals in U.S. and Europe wealth management 

Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Officer Dave McKay said the lender may seek to add to its wealth management unit in the U.S. and Europe through smaller, targeted acquisitions. “Wealth distribution in the United States we continue to look at,” McKay said Monday at the RBC Capital Markets Canadian Bank CEO conference. Royal Bank is also looking at deals in “wealth distribution in Europe to enhance our European and global wealth franchise” and commercial banking in the U.S., he said. 


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. 

2021 Global Price Forecast: What’s Next? 

As the business travel industry recovers from the devastating impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, what does recovery look like? Has the pandemic forced travel suppliers to slash prices in hopes of enticing companies to send employees back on the road to generate leads, sign deals, cultivate partnerships and develop talent? Or is the industry holding its own and prices for air, hotel and transportation will not experience the dramatic price reductions seen in previous downturns? Where are the opportunities for the industry as it pulls out of the pandemic? Learn what is trending across the air, hotel, and ground transportation sectors. This session is the first look at where pricing is trending and where the industry should look for opportunities. Join us for this critical pricing presentation based on data, not tea leaves.
Learn More and Meet the Speakers >> 


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