Check-In with Suzanne
The old saying goes that necessity is the mother of invention – and moving through a pandemic proved that all too well. It created the necessity to try new things, to ponder situations and solutions that didn’t exist before, and to look at the world and challenges differently, while we continue to adjust and re-adjust accordingly.
Whether during the pandemic or every day in our industry and businesses, any type of change should include two key drivers: experimentation and collaboration. And each works best when combined with the other.
As GBTA moves through its evolution, we have embraced both – with some experiments creating exciting new ways forward for our members and association, and others leaving us with important learnings.
Last week we celebrated the launch of a new idea – our first-ever GBTA Project, Crew and Team Travel Summit which took place in Chicago. The one-day event brought together 120 attendees from different industries – such as sports, entertainment, logistics, emergency management, non-profit, energy, project, and consultancy – who face common challenges and opportunities while they handle some of the most complex types of business travel. The incubator-type format fostered collaboration, best practices sharing, and idea creation. Thank you to all who made this “experiment” a resounding success.
This week at the GBTA Ladders Summit in Nashville we’re celebrating experimentation and collaboration in action in our industry with an international group of avid participants. GBTA Ladders brings together the best industry talent to help shape the next generation of business travel, along with mentorship and education. The Summit marks the culmination of the year-long Ladders program. Twelve teams, 70 team members, and 16 mentors tackled this year’s topic: Corporate Responsibility: What’s Next. The four finalist teams will present their ideas and thought leadership, and the top team selected at the Summit will present at the GBTA Convention in San Diego.
Also a reminder that the call-for-nominations for the GBTA Board of Directors Election opens this week through June 2 (note: a recent member email showed a different closing date but June 2 is correct). All GBTA active members will receive an email in the coming days from “GBTA Elections” with a personalized link where you can nominate someone or yourself to run for one of three open seats.
And there is still time and space available for the annual GBTA US Legislative Summit – read more and sign up to join the GBTA group who will make our collective voice heard in Washington, DC, on June 6-8.
News to Know:
Business Travel Resumes, Though Not at Its Former Pace
Business travel appears to be returning, albeit unevenly, after all but disappearing for most of the pandemic. Despite early predictions that Zoom meetings would supplant face-to-face encounters even after the coronavirus had receded, industry trade groups and hotel companies are pointing to significant upswings in small business meetings as well as larger conventions and trade shows in the last couple of months. Airlines also say bookings by business travelers have recently jumped. What is not returning so quickly, executives and experts say, are business trips by individuals.
UK government launches contest for first ‘net zero’ transatlantic flight
The UK government has announced plans to hold a competition to deliver the world’s first net zero transatlantic flight. Transport secretary Grant Shapps said during a speech in the US that the “pioneering test” flight between the UK and US would operate entirely on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and promised that it would take place by the end of 2023. During a meeting with airline bosses, Shapps challenged the sector to work closely with the UK government to deliver the “demonstrator” flight using 100 per cent SAF to power its engines.
European hotel prices exceed pre-pandemic levels
Occupancy rates across the continent are also trending rapidly towards a full recovery. Overall, occupancy has improved to 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, as the industry gained strength following an earlier decline due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, and is likely to reach 90 per cent recovery in the coming months. Hotels in Poland (93 per cent), the UK (89 per cent) and Ireland (84 per cent) saw the highest occupancy levels, respectively.
New Zealand is reopening to cruise ships
New Zealand’s government will fully reopen its borders to international cruise ships at the end of July. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Wednesday the decision provides “good preparation time for airlines and cruise ship companies planning a return to New Zealand in the peak spring and summer seasons.” The development comes weeks after nearby Australia lifted its own ban for cruise ships on April 17.
GBTA News and Reminders:
GBTA Ladders Summit 2022
Join us May 16 – 18, 2022 in Nashville as GBTA brings together the Members of Ladders for an in-person conference. Ladder teams will showcase ideas and concepts, providing the opportunity for selected finalist teams to present at the Summit. Live presentations will be judged and the chosen winner will present in an Education Session at GBTA Convention in San Diego.
Travel Risk Management Bootcamp – Understanding and Implementing ISO31030
Explore Travel Risk Management with us on June 7th to understand the new ISO 31030 standard and gain the tools and confidence to update and/or create a robust system within your organization. This two-day course, led by travel risk management experts Global Secure Accreditation in conjunction with GBTA and the Anvil Group, is designed to give practical guidance to anyone involved in building and managing corporate travel programs.