Tracking business travel’s recovery is like plotting moments on a continuum – our industry has been assessing, reassessing, staying the course or pivoting, as we move across the horizontal axis of time. So what moment are we in now?
A recent story in “The Economist” featuring GBTA and a conversation I had last week with a Wall Street Journal reporter might show some indication. Beyond just COVID-19, we are increasingly looking at other recovery aspects including the connection between the future of work and the future of business travel.
Companies are re-opening their doors and settling into more permanent workplace models. There are similar considerations shared for getting back to the office and back to business travel – from ongoing safety and health to understanding the new needs and desires of employees. Digital nomads, work-from-anywhere, return to base, and blended business/leisure travel are all new considerations for both the future of work and business travel. That’s why the future of work continues to be a key theme across our GBTA research, education and events. I’d love to hear from you about the evolution you are seeing in your workplace and business travel.
And speaking of reaching out, as you read in GBTA Board President Denise Truso’s “Board Perspectives” article yesterday, last week we hosted our first-ever Town Hall with the GBTA Board of Directors. I’m sharing here more thoughts from the town hall, courtesy of Board member Jens Liltorp:
- We came out of the pandemic financially sound. GBTA as an organization is re-launching – staff and resources were cut but are now being ramped up.
- We have a new strategy in place – reaching a more global scope is a key factor.
- The bylaws are undergoing continuous scrutiny to become even more transparent and globally fit.
- The GBTA Hub has been re-designed and re-launched.
- We have managed to pull off several in-person conferences even through challenging times.
- GBTA is in a state of change – we as a Board are focused on getting closer to members, becoming more transparent and delivering more value.
Are you interested in helping GBTA review the bylaws passed in 2021? We’re looking for volunteers to help amend the language we use to help govern the association. After making several large changes last year including the way we recognize members, adding global representation and term limits, there are additional language and processes to review. Join one of the information meetings: tomorrow, March 30 at 8:00 am ET or Friday, April 1 at 12noon ET. Email GBTA Board Members Will Pinnell ([email protected] or Rita Visser ([email protected]) to sign up.
News to Know:
Advantage says business travel is ‘turning a corner’
TMC members of Advantage Global Network are currently averaging 48 per cent of their 2019 turnover, with most expecting to finish 2022 at around 70 per cent of pre-Covid levels, as the network sees the “green shoots” of recovery for corporate travel. London-based Advantage Global Network, which was formerly known as WIN Global Travel Network before rebranding in September 2021, said it expected annual turnover for its members to total around $7.5 billion this year in an update on trading.Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Advantage has continued to grow its membership to record levels and the network now has TMC partners in 83 countries, up from 70 countries in 2020. Advantage was Europe’s sixth largest TMC network in the list of Europe’s Leading TMCs 2021, compiled by BTN Europe.
Air Canada to resume Edinburgh-Toronto route
Air Canada has announced plans to resume nonstop flights between Edinburgh and Toronto this summer. The seasonal service will be operated by the carrier’s B787-8 aircraft, configured with 225 seats across economy, premium economy and business class (branded Air Canada Signature Class). The route had previously been served by leisure subsidiary Air Canada Rouge – indeed it was the launch route for the carrier back in 2013. Flights will operate six-times-weekly between June 1 and October 2, and four-times-weekly between October 3 and October 29. Schedules can be seen in the table below, with Air Canada stating that flights have been times to optimise connectivity onto the carrier’s North American network.
Singapore to fully reopen to vaccinated travellers from April 1
Singapore is to open its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from next month, with the removal of Vaccinated Travel Lane requirements. From 2359 on March 31, 2022, all fully vaccinated travellers, and non-fully vaccinated children aged 12 years or under will be permitted to enter Singapore without having to use Vaccinated Travel Lane transport, take arrivals tests or undergo quarantine. Travellers will continue to be required to take a pre-departure PCR or antigen test within two days of departure for Singapore.
Mexico’s Lopez Obrador inaugurates new international airport
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador inaugurated a new airport serving Mexico City, in a hallmark move more than three years after he scrapped a separate partly built multibillion-dollar construction project by the previous government that he said was a symbol of corruption.A handful of flights took off from the Felipe Angeles International Airport north of the capital on Monday as Lopez Obrador was on hand for its official opening. It begins operations without a train connection, which is due to be ready next year.
GBTA News and Reminders:
Successful Travel Programs
What are the essential needs for your organization and for your travelers? This presentation will be of interest to buyers and suppliers to give a holistic view for a thriving travel program. On March 31st we’ll discuss building the 3 foundations to a successful travel strategy: your company profile, your platform, and your category management. We’ll focus on success points from both seller and buyer perspectives outlining partnership best practices.
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.