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Check-In with Suzanne

A fundamental value of being a GBTA member is having your views heard and taking an active role in creating the future for the association and our industry. Last week, I had the opportunity to join a meeting virtually of the GBTA Accommodations Committee who were gathered in person in Dallas. It was productive and insightful to connect on timely topics, from how we’re doing strategically as an industry and association, to the latest around Convention happenings. For me, moments like these are truly celebratory of our many volunteers whose time, dedication, and work keep moving GBTA and the business travel sector forward. We are grateful for you all.

It’s also that time of year again when one of the most impactful ways you can take an active role as a GBTA member is by voting for GBTA’s Board of Directors – the 2022 election process is underway.

This year, we have an enthusiastic, combined global slate of 12 Direct and Allied candidates vying for three available Board seats: two Direct at Large seats and one Allied at Large seat, each will serve a two-year term. Visit the GBTA Election web page for details – because the best choice is an informed one. In July, you’ll also see posted there the platforms provided by each of the candidates. Additionally, plan to attend the July 19th virtual GBTA Annual Business Meeting and Global Candidate Forum where each candidate will have three minutes to present their campaign speech.

On July 26, GBTA members will receive a secure third-party email from “GBTA Elections” which will contain your confidential, anonymous, individual link to electronically cast your vote. You will be able to vote through August 15, 5pm ET. Only Direct and Allied members can vote, so make sure your global membership is active. (Email [email protected] if you have questions.)

We’ll be announcing the winning candidates live at Convention during the afternoon Main Stage session on August 16. The newly elected Board members will succeed current Board members, Phillip Peña, Connie Smith and Rita Visser, who complete their terms in August – and whom we’d like to thank for their service.

GBTA has always been driven by the dedication of our many member volunteers. The election of our Board leaders is paramount, especially in a time when “business as usual” in our industry has been anything but the “usual.” Mark your calendar to cast your vote by Monday, August 15, 5pm ET. Make your voice heard – because we need your vote to make all the difference.



News to Know:

South Africa drops all Covid restrictions, and its travel industry celebrates

After two long years, the South African government announced on June 22 that it was scrapping all Covid-related regulations. Masks are no longer mandatory, limits on the size of gatherings are no more, and travelers will not need to produce a vaccination certificate or negative Covid-19 test to enter the country. According to Novais, the government’s decision to scrap all Covid restrictions brings a huge amount of hope for the industry. He said that dropping the PCR test requirement will enable more seamless traveling for clients, and the lifting of the mask mandate sends a message to the world that South Africa is back to offering its visitors a safe, friendly and beautiful holiday experience.

With Covid entry test abolished, a bookings surge is expected

Travel companies are readying for another surge of travel bookings after the U.S. dropped its requirement that arriving travelers present a negative Covid test. It’s not clear yet how big the surge will be. But early data suggest that the end of the testing requirement appears to have boosted international demand from both domestic and foreign points of sale. United reported that during the first three days after the change was announced, searches for international travel were up 7% week over week, with the total number of searches coming in at more than 2.4 million.

Dutch government plans to cut flights from Amsterdam

The Dutch government has announced plans to cut back the number of flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport as part of a policy aimed at reducing noise and air pollution. The plan would see the Netherlands’ hub airport restricted to 440,000 flights per year, which would be a 20 per cent cut on previous projections of 540,000 flights from Schiphol. The move is expected to come into effect in November 2023.The airport said the government’s plan would create “great uncertainty”, with KLM adding that the move would have “dramatic consequences” for the airline and for the “accessibility of the Netherlands”.

Inflation Prompts Corporate Travel Buyers to Hold Off Negotiating Hotel Rates for 2023

Hotels are set to clash with travel buyers as they try to lock in rates for next year — rates that have been edging north since the second quarter of this year. Most corporate travel buyers will have enjoyed relative discounts compared to the higher inflation-linked rates tourists will have been paying, thanks in part to hotel chains rolling over their corporate discounts from 2021 as the Omicron variant disrupted travel.


GBTA News and Reminders:

GBTA Annual Business Meeting and Candidate Forum

GBTA will hold its virtual Annual Business Meeting and Candidate Forum. This is your chance to gain insights on important GBTA business and especially to hear directly from the candidates running for three available Board seats. Meeting topics will include the Annual Report and GBTA Board of Directors Candidate/Election Forum. You can view the candidates here.

GBTA Convention 2022

We’re getting back to business travel and back to business. GBTA Convention 2022 will bring together the best of the best from around the industry and beyond to re-connect, re-imagine and re-create the future of business travel.