Spurred by the pandemic and resulting overall societal changes, I’m hearing that companies are reimagining and adapting for a next era in business – which also means a next era for business travel.
New approaches in business travel for fostering client and team connectedness and individual traveler needs must coexist with corporate priorities and bottom-line objectives such as negotiated travel policies and cost management. And many companies are deeply exploring a redefinition of who, why, what and how when it comes to their business travel programs overall.
At the crux of managing and orchestrating all this change is the travel manager.
Discussions happening in our GBTA Hub Forums show that travel managers have a lot on their plates right now: updating travel policies, managing fuel surcharges, assessing per diem increases, prioritizing sustainability, pursuing carbon offsetting programs, managing issues affecting supply, and helping colleagues navigate conditions in Ukraine and surrounding regions.
Travel managers might be in the business of travel, but they are truly in the business of people.
Never before has their experience, expertise and insights been so vital to so many. GBTA is here to help with research, education, advocacy, training and networking to help travel managers and our industry get to what’s next in business travel. I’d love to hear from travel buyers who are helping guide major business travel evolution in their organization.
And speaking of change, GBTA decided it was time to pivot our monthly industry poll. What started 2+ years ago to solely track COVID-19 will shift to every other month and increase its scope on additional critical recovery drivers such as fuel prices and inflation, the Ukraine conflict and the re-opening of offices. The April GBTA Business Travel Recovery Poll is now open. We want to hear what is impacting your companies and business travelers at this stage of the recovery. Thank you again for your very important and appreciated insights. Take the poll here and we’ll be releasing results on April 21.
This past Friday, April 1, marked the lifting of travel testing requirements in Canada, which GBTA had been actively advocating. It’s a great development for business travel and travelers, and also for Canada’s economy and residents. It’s also just in time for the GBTA Canada Conference in Toronto, May 2-3…. a welcome development – and less travel hassle – for everyone looking forward to attending the upcoming event.
News to Know:
Air France: Seasonal U.S. Flights to Surpass 2019 Levels
Air France plans to operate close to 200 weekly flights to 14 U.S. destinations this summer, 20 percent more than it operated in summer 2019, the carrier announced Friday. Service between Paris Orly and New York JFK restarted March 27 after being suspended since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Air France. In addition, Air France and Delta Air Lines are scheduled to launch a “shuttle” service between Paris Charles de Gaulle and New York JFK with eight daily flights—six operated by Air France, two operated by Delta, according to the carrier.
Canada Changes Travel Rules: Here’s What You Need To Know
As of Friday April 1, the Government of Canada no longer requires fully vaccinated travelers to provide a pre-entry Covid-19 test result (such as a PCR test or an antigen test) to enter Canada by air, land or water. Formerly even vaccinated Canadians had to show proof of negative test results to enter the country from abroad. To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler you must have received a minimum of two doses of a government accepted Covid-19 or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Having a mix of two accepted Covid-19 vaccines also qualifies as fully vaccinated. The government lists acceptable vaccines and doses on its website.
Indian Online Travel Agency Yatra Looks to Raise Up to $100 Million From IPO
One of India’s biggest travel agencies wants to raise up to $100 million from a public listing on India’s stock exchange. Despite losing money over the past couple of years, Yatra has managed to weather the pandemic, even surviving a battle with an activist shareholder. Recruiting Sabre’s chief commercial officer Roshan Mendis onto its board seems to have marked a new chapter in the company’s fight for survival — which also included a failed merger with Ebix in 2020. On Friday, Yatra said it had filed a “red herring prospectus” and had began talking with potential investors. It expects the process will be completed in the third quarter.
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.
BWBTA Volunteer Opportunity at the National Cherry Blossom Festival
One of DC’s largest spectator events is back in 2022! On April 9th the energy-filled Parade runs for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue Northwest. Grand colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers, and performers burst down the Parade route in a spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year during the Festival!