Some days it isn’t easy to operate in what feels like parallel worlds. There’s the world where lives and businesses are getting back to normal as COVID-19 becomes more manageable. And then there are the other worlds – the one where COVID risks continue, or where we are trying to maneuver through the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, or where we are striving to take meaningful steps toward protecting our planet’s future health.
It’s a lot for anyone to take in right now. But working together, we are making some progress.
We’ve been hearing about industry colleagues taking on the daunting role of trying to safely move colleagues, customers and loved ones from Ukraine and the region. Your expertise and work matter so much now. GBTA’s webinar today, “Travel Management in a Time of Crisis – Ukraine 2022,” is designed to help travel managers with insights and information including visa and immigration requirements and options for accommodations and transportation. Also, if your organization is engaged in charitable or humanitarian efforts to help Ukraine, let GBTA know and we will help get the word out to the business travel community.
We’re also making progress in our sustainability journey. Today GBTA announced and welcomes the new members of the GBTA Sustainability Leadership Council. The business travel industry has an opportunity and a responsibility to get to a greener future through climate action. Since November 2021, 16 global travel industry companies stepped forward as Founding Partners of the GBTA Sustainability Program. As Council members, sustainability executives from each of these companies will advise on GBTA’s overall Sustainability Program. We are grateful for the enthusiastic response from our Founding Partners and Council Members and look forward to working together to find a balanced way forward for keeping business and economies strong through travel and the planet strong through climate action. Read the full Council announcement here.
Progress for GBTA is also about listening and evolving every day. I heard directly from a few dozen travel buyer members last week about how we’re doing – and I was assured that as an organization we are heading in the right direction. But there’s more for us to tackle – by way of advocacy for cross-border consistency to ease the stress of business travelers, and to make sure we keep relevant topics throughout our education and online engagement programs. We hope you’ll keep connecting with GBTA – join, listen and share your thoughts and questions on tomorrow’s Town Hall with the GBTA Board of Directors.
Here’s to getting to what’s next – together.
News to Know:
SAP Concur in partnership with emissions data platform Thrust Carbon
Emissions data platform Thrust Carbon is now being featured in SAP Concur’s app centre, allowing travel buyers access to live carbon reporting. The new partnership will give SAP Concur customers the ability to generate on-demand reports for their organisation to get a clear view of their carbon footprint from travel activities. This includes monitoring live travel emissions against specific reduction targets. These reports can also be shared with government, industry and shareholders as most companies move towards a net zero target by ensuring their activities are more sustainable.
Puerto Rico relaxes Covid-19 travel restrictions
Puerto Rico, which along with Hawaii has maintained some of the strictest Covid-19 measures in the United States, announced Monday it’s relaxing travel restrictions. Starting Thursday, the US territory in the Caribbean will no longer require that domestic travelers provide proof of vaccination or take a Covid-19 test before arrival, according to Discover Puerto Rico. For international visitors coming to Puerto Rico, the same US entry requirements still apply.
Italy Announces Plan to Eliminate COVID-19 Restrictions — Here’s What’s Changing
Italy will gradually phase out its COVID-19 restrictions, the government announced on Thursday, becoming the latest European destination to ditch pandemic-related measures. Starting May 1, its digital ‘green pass’ will no longer be required to access places like restaurants and public transportation, Reuters reported. The pass is currently issued to people who are fully vaccinated or who have contracted COVID-19 and recovered.
Hong Kong Signals Covid Shift by Cutting Flight Bans, Quarantine
The moves were spurred by frustration in the banking community and wider population, which has endured more than two years of effectively closed borders and increasingly extreme quarantine measures even though the virus is now spreading widely through the city. They also come as China cedes its Covid Zero policy is damaging the world’s second-largest economy and leaving it isolated, with President Xi Jinping opening the door to modifications last week that reduce the impact on business, while still limiting deaths. The quarantine period was cut in half, and outright bans on flights from the U.S., U.K., Canada and six other countries once deemed “high risk” for the virus were scrapped.
GBTA News and Reminders:
Town Hall with GBTA Board of Directors
Please join us for a Board of Directors Town Hall on March 23rd . The Board is responsible for establishing the focus and direction of the association and on the townhall some of the board will give an update on GBTA activities and take your questions.
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.