Do you remember where you were when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020? This month finds many of us reflecting on the past two years and how “normal” feels like a lifetime ago – not only for the world and for us personally, but also for the business travel industry. Now we’re thinking less about going back, and instead, more about moving forward.
We made a great step forward last week, in hosting our first GBTA Mexico Conference in three years – with nearly 400 registrants from several countries participating in the learning, collaboration and Expo. (See photo.) It was insightful and inspiring to meet face-to-face with so many from across the region.
Every successful in-person event, every business trip, and every uptick in positive recovery data reinforces why the wait is worth it to get back to business travel. We continue to move incrementally through recovery, even as we now face new challenges of grappling with the economic, business and humanitarian realities of the continuing conflict in Ukraine.
As a global community, GBTA wants to help support and amplify the important efforts happening across the travel industry to help Ukraine. So, we are compiling and will be featuring here on GBTA.org the relief and humanitarian initiatives of companies in our industry. If GBTA can help spread the word about your organization’s charitable efforts in support of Ukraine, please let us know by providing the info here. As always, in our industry we’ll find the way together.
Moving through change together is also inspiring the GBTA Virtual Town Hall with the GBTA Board of Directors scheduled for March 23rd . Hosted by Board President, Denise Truso, this first Board-driven online meetup is your chance to connect and get the latest updates on what’s going on now and insights what’s up next for the association and membership. Register now to attend and feel free to submit any questions you may have in advance.
News to Know:
New Research: 5 Signs of Travel’s Continued Recovery
Expedia Group Media Solutions recently launched its Q4 2021 Travel Recovery Trend Report, which outlines the latest data and research on how travel is returning and includes actionable insights to help capture demand for destinations, accommodations, transportation, and other industry segments. As appetite for leisure travel continued to grow in the fourth quarter of last year, most notably in the Asia-Pacific region, global search windows increased and long-haul destinations became more appealing. The continued popularity of vacation rentals and the heightened use of loyalty programs also pointed toward steady and sustainable growth for the year ahead.
Hotel Industry Says Automation & Integration Vital to Recovery
The digitization of the hospitality industry has been underway for decades, but the past two years have accelerated tech adoption in hotels across the globe. Duetto surveyed hoteliers worldwide to gauge the hotel industry’s sentiment and priorities regarding revenue management, revenue tools, and technology innovations. The overwhelming response was that automation and integration are seen as key to future success by the majority of those working in a hotel revenue function. In fact, 77.6% of respondents expect to increase their hotel tech investment in the next three years.
UK business travel enjoys strongest week for two years
The UK’s business travel sector has seen its strongest week since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. New figures from the Business Travel Association (BTA) showed the final week of February was the best seven-day period for the industry in nearly two years, when compared to the same week in 2019. BTA said data from travel tech company Travelogix showed that “traveller confidence has returned”, with a 403 per cent increase in new business travel bookings compared with the same week in 2021. Departures for the week also rose by 292 per cent over the same period.
Costa Rica Will No Longer Require Completed Health Pass as of April 1
Beginning April 1, Costa Rica will no longer require travelers to complete an online Health Pass when visiting the destination. Additionally, unvaccinated travelers will no longer be required to purchase a travel insurance policy; however, it is still recommended that travelers purchase travel insurance to cover medical and lodging expenses in the event of contracting COVID-19. In the interim, the Health Pass may be completed at salud.go.cr. It can only be completed within 72 hours prior to arrival in the country; one form must be completed per person, including minors.
GBTA News and Reminders:
Travel Risk Management Bootcamp: Understanding and Implementing ISO31030
Join us for our next Travel Risk Management Bootcamp: Understanding and Implementing ISO31030 on April 6-7th, to date we have received some amazing testimonials. ISO 31030 establishes clear guidelines for assessing risks related to travel – whether physical, hygiene or cyber related – and how to manage and benchmark those risks. It will remove the guesswork and provide clarity in an area that’s never been more critical for companies and their travelers.