Check-In with Suzanne

Preparing for Arrival on the Road to Convention

There can be many meaningful interpretations of our 2022 Convention theme: Re-Connect, Re-Imagine and Re-Create. One of the most important is how we will continue to re-imagine and re-create the association for the future, which is also a key mission of the elected GBTA Board of Directors. Voting is now underway to determine the newest Board members who will serve in that capacity for the next two years.

Last year, in that pandemic-challenged, rebuilding year, voting members showed support for GBTA with a best-in-class 27% turnout during the summer Board election. I hope this year that the voting turnout will be even higher. The more members who vote, the more voices are heard about which priorities matter most in GBTA’s future.   

If you are a voting GBTA member, look for the email from “GBTA Elections” and cast your votes for the one Allied seat and two Direct seats that are open, along with the volunteer taskforce and board-approved cleanup language in this year’s bylaw review. Voting closes on August 15 at 5pm ET (or 2pm PT if you are with us in San Diego). Voting results will be announced at Convention during the Tuesday afternoon Main Stage session. Visit the GBTA Elections 2022 web page for all the details you need to make your voting decisions.

Even with Convention less than two weeks away, we continue to see a steady flow of buyer and supplier attendees signing up to come. There’s still time to register here to join thousands of your business travel colleagues from around the world in San Diego – and earn 12 GTP Recertification credits while you do it. 

But for those who can’t make it to Convention in person this year, we’ve got you covered, too. 

Yesterday we rolled out Convention Plus so you can be part of the action during Convention and after. Convention Plus is a virtual livestream and on-demand option providing access to some of the most insightful content from Convention 2022. This includes the five Main Stage presentations, five Collaboratory Spotlights and 15+ educations sessions including the much-anticipated 2023 Global  Pricing Forecast and unveiling of the latest Business Travel Index™. Don’t miss out. 


News to Know:

Visa Wait Times Put Drag on U.S. International Travel Recovery

With the end of the Covid testing requirement on inbound international travel, global tourists are coming back to the U.S. in larger numbers, stirring hopes for a full recovery. A formidable barrier, however, has emerged: exploding wait times for called B-1 and B-2 visas (visitor visas) interviews because of a labor shortage and some still-unopened embassies. Citizens from India, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and other countries outside the U.S. Visa Waiver Program must apply for a visitor visa in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. ​​In 2019, 43 percent of international visitors to the U.S. required a visitor visa, according to the U.S. Travel Association. That amounted to an estimated 35 million tourists.

75% of Travel Managers in Europe Expect 2022 Business Travel Volume to Surpass 2019 Levels According to New Cvent Report

Cvent, a market-leading meetings, events, travel and hospitality technology provider, published the latest instalment of the Cvent Travel Managers Report: Europe Edition, which provides in-depth insights into current corporate travel trends and activity. The report reveals significant levels of optimism amongst corporate travel managers. Three quarters (75%) of respondents expect their organization’s 2022 travel volume to eclipse 2019 levels, with more than a third (32%) citing they expect volumes to “increase significantly”. More than 69 per cent of travel managers in the UK and across Europe say they are sourcing internationally (both within and outside of Europe). In contrast, fewer than eight per cent of travel managers are sourcing exclusively domestic options, demonstrating the significant shift towards a desire to travel more broadly.

Chile Updates Entry Requirements for Foreign Travelers

Chile’s ministry of health has updated its “Protected Borders Plan” to protect both non-resident foreigners and Chilean residents. As part of this plan, there are three levels of alert for the international border. The country is at “Alert Level 1,” which does not enforce travel restrictions; however, there are a few measures to be considered. Under “Alert Level 1,” visitors to Chile must fill in the “Travel Affidavit” form online up to 48 hours prior to boarding, providing contact information and health and travel records.

Travelers Returning to Latin America Find More Digital Payment Options

Cashless tourism has spread rapidly worldwide since the start of the pandemic — even in regions where digitalization largely hadn’t taken hold, such as Latin America. Digital wallet transfers, QR codes, and even contactless credit or debit cards were a rarity outside of hotels and resorts. But they’ve become more prevalent in recent years throughout the region, with travelers coming back to Latin America finding digital payments are accepted by vendors at locations such as the beach and artisanal fairs.

GBTA News and Reminders:

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.