Check-in with Suzanne

Hello again, everyone!


A week after we made the announcement to move Convention to November 17-19, I want to thank you for the outpouring of feedback and support – from Buyers, Exhibitors, Sponsors, Board members and from partners in several countries.

I’d also like to send a shout-out to our industry colleagues at Phocuswright and Northstar Media for working with us as we had few good options in the midst of an imperative to move our event, as we listened to you and your concerns about the July dates. Phocuswright worked quickly to move their November event ahead by two days to avoid a complete overlap. So, for those of you who have attended both GBTA Convention and the Phocuswright U.S. conference in prior years, you’ll find us both in Florida in the same week in November. We hope you’ll find it even easier to attend both this year!


And while Convention dates were on our minds last week, our Association work continues.


  • The Peer Review Committee worked for two intensive days last week, vetting the more than 350 submissions for learning and education workshops which so many of you sent in earlier in the year. These will be the resources for not just Convention, but now for even more virtual learning opportunities between now and then. Thanks to this amazing team of 64 member volunteers for their expertise and collaboration on this important Association work.


  • Those of you who are active Direct Members should have received your first emailed link yesterday from our 3rd party partner, Election Services Corporation, to vote on the first set of Bylaw amendments. We sent a summary of this set and the process on April 7. With Election Service’s information, you will be able to see the side-by-side Bylaw original language changes and amended language. All these recommendations were put together by an accomplished team of volunteer members over the past few months. The Board and I would love to see a record turnout of our Direct Members voting on this important first set of amendments. If you didn’t receive the email, please contact [email protected] or [email protected] or call toll-free +1 866 720 HELP (4357). ­­


  • We launched the latest COVID-19 poll last week and will have the latest results for you shortly. While we all hope for signs of business travel recovery, the insights that you share about your programs help us to polish our “crystal ball” a bit better to help inform you, your leaders, and global policy makers about what practitioners believe is ahead.


There is such active engagement all across GBTA. I’ve had great conversations (still in listening mode!) in recent days with our Convention exhibitors, with our European Advisory Board and partner association leaders, our Canada Advisory Board, and some U.S. chapters. This week I look forward to meeting again with our U.S. Committee leaders.


You are why GBTA matters. My team and I think about you, your challenges and opportunities, every day as the center of our mission.


Which brings me to a final question for you this week: Is your company/organization (or do you know of any other company/organization) incentivizing employees to take a COVID-19 vaccination?


Here’s why I’m asking: Last week, GBTA Vice President of Government and Community Relations Shane Downey and I were honored to speak with Ben Wakana, deputy director of strategic communications and engagement, on President Biden’s COVID-19 Response Team. Ben would like to learn more about any incentives companies may be enacting or looking to enact as they try to get people safely (and more quickly) back in offices, in planes, and in meetings.


If you have any examples to share about these kinds of incentives, please send those to us at [email protected].

News to Know


Promising Signs of an Uptick in Business Travel: Last Thursday, during its latest earnings call, Delta Air Lines President Glen Hauenstein announced a “slow but steady” increase in corporate travel, with an improvement of 5 percent in corporate travel levels from the end of 2020. Similarly, Quantas Group CEO Alan Joyce reported in their financial update last week the return of a majority of business travel demand, adding that Quantas expected to restore 90 percent of its domestic capacity by the end of the year.


UK Global Travel Taskforce Says International Travel Could Resume May 17: The taskforce’s framework includes the launch of a new traffic light system, a green “watchlist” and the introduction of travel certification. Threat levels will be determined by the percentage of the population vaccinated, levels of infection, the prevalence of variants and the ability to produce reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing. In addition, the UK further eased restrictions with the re-opening of hospitality venues and other services.


LATAM Income Levels Won’t Return to Pre-pandemic Levels in Most Areas Until 2024: The International Monetary Fund attributes a slower recovery to the recent resurgence of COVID-19 and slow vaccine roll-outs, with tourism-dependent economies being among the last to experience recovery.


Canada Not Ready to Ease Travel Restrictions: When asked about easing restrictions for vaccinated travelers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in speaking with reporters earlier this month, stated, “we are still in the middle of a very serious third wave. People must be very careful in the upcoming weeks to flatten the curve. That is the main priority.”


GBTA News & Reminders


Voting Now Open: GBTA Bylaw Changes – Set One: As I discussed above, the first round of voting on proposed GBTA bylaws is now open and closes May 2. It’s imperative that you vote and have your voice heard. For additional details on the proposed changes you’ll be voting on, click here.


Save the Date for July 20: Convention has been moved to November but we still have important Association business to conduct this summer. On July 20, we’ll be hosting a virtual session to include the GBTA Annual Business Meeting, election results and additional valuable content. Times and registration to come soon but I wanted to make sure you have this date held in your calendar.


WINiTIn45 Launched Today; Next Session is May 6: Our exciting new WINiT series launched today. A heartfelt thank you to WINiT Strategic Advisory Board Chair Dorothy Dowling from BWH Hotel Group and Melissa Maher from Expedia Group for leading an outstanding marketing and communications session. Next up on May 6: “WINiT Wherever You Stand – Job Holder or Job Seeker.” WINiT Founder and Strategic Advisory Board Vice Chair Mick Lee from BNY Mellon will discuss how to effectively network if you’re looking for a new job and how to remain relevant in your current role. Register here.


Another Informative Europe Town Hall: The April Town Hall held last week featured a presentation from the GBTA European Risk Committee on COVID travel measures and an update on upcoming educational programs to help members sharpen their skills. Click here to view a recording of the Town Hall.


As we move into the second quarter and closer to pushing out of this pandemic, our days are getting busier. But please, take the time this week to review the GBTA bylaw changes and cast your vote. Our Association is made stronger only through your input.




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