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Check-in with Suzanne

Hi Everyone –

An important log jam broke late last week with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) first post-pandemic guidance allowing that vaccinated adults could travel and see their families again. At the time of this writing, we are also eagerly anticipating what the UK government will announce – could it be related to travel corridors, which GBTA and I have been supporting all along?

I’m also hearing that many recognized companies are dusting off plans to bring employees back to offices/campuses by late summer. With that, another chapter of our “pipeline of professional human logistics” – also known as business travel – will pick up again. I’m watching the data and announcements very carefully and appreciate all direct insight you can offer!

Two days prior to the CDC announcement last week, we held an important U.S.-centric virtual forum on national security-related to COVID-19 recovery featuring airline leadership, Department of Homeland Security/TSA, and Department of Transportation viewpoints, along with majority and minority Senate and House advisors. The support of mitigating risk (while recognizing that we cannot eliminate all risk) and innovating with health-related digital passports was evident, even if the “how” we will get there together with all countries and travel partners is still a work in progress. There’s no reason that the G7 should not take this on in their June session, as safe travel policies and cross-border initiatives drive not just economic stability but also peace and understanding.

We continue to study the data around the pandemic, our programs, and how they are mutually entwined. Thanks for continuing to let us ask you about your plans and what you’re comfortable committing to! As I’ve committed to listening to you, that also means I will be asking more of you. So please prioritize those flash polls and other surveys my team sends your way in the next few weeks.

This is such an important week in terms of the evolution of our association. If you’re a member, I will be telling you more tomorrow about what’s ahead in terms of bylaw changes and board elections. And if you’re not a member (or a lapsed member), we stand by ready to reinstate you before several important membership votes between now and mid-July.

News to Know:

  • U.S. Hotel Forecast for Second Half of 2021 Shows Promising Signs: A newly-released Hotel Horizons report from CBRE Hotels Research forecasts a 55.1 percent occupancy level for the latter half of 2021, up from an anticipated 43 percent in the first half of the year. The report attributes the increase to the continued rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations and the additional stimulus funds as a result of the relief package passed last month.
  • Europe to Begin Receiving Johnson & Johnson Vaccine This Month: In a boost to Europe’s vaccination efforts, the single-dose J&J vaccine will start arriving in Europe on April 19. The vaccine was approved by European Union regulators in mid-March and the EU has signed an order for 200 million J&J doses with an option for 200 million more.
  • Germany Now Requiring Negative COVID Test for Air Arrivals: The new rule requires all travelers arriving by air to provide proof to the airline of a negative COVID test no earlier than 48 hours before travel. The rule will remain in place through May 12 but could be extended.
  • Canada Imposes “Emergency Brake”: Effective this past Saturday, the Ontario government has restricted indoor social gatherings and indoor and outdoor dining – among other restrictions – in hopes that it will significantly curb the recent COVID-19 surge.

GBTA News & Reminders:

  • Become a Ready. Safe. Travel. Specialist: GBTA’s new virtual training program begins in less than three weeks and will deliver information and tools to help you transition business travel and meetings into a post-pandemic world. Click here for more details and to register.
  • The Fundamentals of Strategic Meetings Management™ Series Starts April 9: During this three-part series, learn how to create and manage an effective strategic meetings program for your company. Scholarships are available. To learn more and register, click here.
  • GBTA Europe Offering a Program to Help Maximize Your Career Success: In partnership with Dr. Lucy Rattrie, this series will help you thrive despite career challenges and teach you key tools for success. Click here to find out more.

Please make your voice heard through our flash polls! That’s a hugely important way for you to check in with me, and for me to hear from you.


— Suzanne

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