My business travels this week bring me to the UK where I’m onsite at The Institute of Travel Management’s (ITM) Accelerate event. This marks GBTA’s renewed relationship with ITM but it’s also where I’ll engage in an onstage discussion on a topic that’s important to us all: selling business travel’s value.
One indicator of the value of business travel is the double-digit surge in its return we’ve seen over the past few months. Our latest GBTA Business Travel Recovery Poll released last week shows a marked increase, as more companies allow employee travel and booking levels and travel spending return. There’s also a high level of industry optimism and employee willingness to travel, even with new developments and challenges beyond the pandemic including rising fuel prices and inflation.
Even as we return to more “normal” levels of business travel, we know the industry and travelers have another priority top of mind: sustainability.
Tomorrow GBTA will be launching a landmark report, “The State of Sustainability in the Global Business Travel Sector.” The 20-page GBTA benchmarking study will provide in-depth data and insights from a survey of 762 global business travel buyers and suppliers professionals from four regions — Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. It also includes survey results from 100 external stakeholders including policy makers, think tanks and NGOs (non-governmental organizations).
The study reveals industry priorities, perceived barriers, existing practices, and opportunities for practical change. Practical change came into play when my direct flight from Germany to the UK was cancelled – I flipped to a train journey, which while a bit longer door to door, nevertheless afforded me plenty of onboard work time and a lower carbon footprint.
This is another milestone in the sustainability journey for our industry and there is a lot more to come. Through collaboration we can accelerate the transition to guide a greener future for business travel while continuing to realize its unmatched value in bringing people together and fostering economic growth within and across national boundaries.
News to Know:
Hong Kong to reopen to international travellers from 1 May
Hong Kong is to start relaxing its strict Covid-19 rules to allow international travellers to visit from 1 May. The Chinese region’s government is to allow fully vaccinated international passengers to enter Hong Kong from overseas on the same boarding, quarantine and testing arrangements as the city’s residents from the start of next month. These requirements include being fully vaccinated, taking a pre-departure test and booking a designated quarantine hotel in Hong Kong.
Avianca’s customers will be able to offset their travel carbon footprint through alliance with Choose
With the aim of joining forces to care for the planet and in midst of Earth Day Celebration, from April 22 Avianca customers will be able to voluntarily offset the carbon footprint generated by their travels, through a digital platform available as a result of the airline’s partnership with the climate technology company CHOOOSE™. This initiative is part of the actions that the company is undertaking within the framework of its sustainability strategy to meet its goals to reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to the fight against climate change.
Much of Europe remains at the CDC’s highest travel risk as other regions improve
For the third week in a row, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not add a single new destination to its highest-risk Level 4 category for travel. In fact, seven destinations in Asia and the Caribbean moved to the CDC’s lowest-risk category for travel during the pandemic, which is Level 1. Moving into that enviable ranking on Monday were island getaways the Philippines and Saint Kitts and Nevis. But much of Europe — including its popular travel powerhouses — remained stubbornly lodged at Level 4.
Alaska Airlines Sees Big Rebound in Tech Business Travel
Tech companies are making a big return to business travel, with Alaska Airlines and others reporting a significant uptick in corporate bookings in recent weeks. The return of these corporate flyers is very good news for the industry. The business travel recovery as a whole has lagged behind leisure flyers, who have come back in droves since the summer of 2020. But although holidaygoers and those visiting friends and relatives have helped fill aircraft, they have done so at lower fares than are typically paid by road warriors. This has made the return of corporate travel one of the biggest watched items for airlines, and the return the big tech firms a significant hurdle for carriers like Alaska and United Airlines, which rely heavily on demand in the major tech hubs.
GBTA News and Reminders:
Sustainability – From Theory to Practice
Sustainability has prominently entered the agendas of companies driven by the now consolidated interest of stakeholders: external, mainly client companies also involved in sustainable development plans and which require the commitment of the supply chain; internal , led mainly by Gen Y; and last but not least, of the territory in which the companies are located. We talk about it with Business Travel experts and operators in the webinar on April 28th at 10.00.
GBTA Conference 2022 – Toronto
GBTA Conference 2022 – Toronto will be held May 2 & 3 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. Toronto is the leading business travel & meetings conference in Canada, anticipating 600 people with over 40 exhibitors. This year’s conference is more important than ever before, as we reunite our Canadian industry with new knowledge, expertise, and impactful best practices to move forward successfully, preparing for a strong return of business travel and face-to-face meetings. GBTA in Canada serves as the premier stage for industry leaders, business innovators, and travel & meetings professionals, showcasing the latest products and services, helping Canadian companies evolve with the latest industry trends, and