Daily News Brief – February 16, 2021

Dave Hilfman’s Monday Memo to GBTA Members – Tuesday Edition

Stepping in to lead GBTA has offered me loads of insight into what’s required for an Association like ours to be successful. Especially in such challenging times, we’ve tried hard to listen to our members, whether your feedback focuses on educational offerings, the need for the latest best-practices information or our advocacy efforts on behalf of a full recovery for business travel.

This weekly update is one example. You asked for better, more frequent updates about GBTA’s goings-on. That information is something I’m glad to provide at the beginning of each week.

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GBTA Statement on the Passing of Arne Sorensen

All of us at GBTA heard this morning that the travel industry lost a giant with the passing of Arne Sorensen. From the day Arne shared the news that he was fighting pancreatic cancer, he, his family and the Marriott team worldwide have been in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. Arne’s loss is difficult to measure in a few sentences, because of his decency as a human being and his deeply consequential impact on the travel industry.

Arne was a leader’s leader – passionate, brilliant, direct, fearless, decent. He served Marriott International for 25 years in a manner that will leave a lasting legacy with the world’s largest hotel chain. He tirelessly supported GBTA and the business travel industry for many years. For those of us who knew Arne personally, his spirit will remain with us always. No matter the issue – within the workplace or beyond – Arne advocated for equality for one and all and for a future far better and more fair than the present.

There can be no more fitting praise than to say Arne left the world and all of us better than he found us.

Our thoughts today are with the entire Sorensen family, the Marriott family, and our friends and colleagues at Marriott. Arne will be missed so very much.


Business Travel Sees Steady Recovery in Europe

Emerging Europe to Recover First

GBTA held its European Town Hall today to discuss its annual BTI™ Outlook with a focus on Europe.

Europe comprised 27% of global business travel in 2019, attributing $392 billion to the $1.43 trillion global busines travel spending. Business travel in Western Europe accounted for approximately 23.4% of this global figure ($334.7 bn) and Eastern Europe (Emerging Europe) accounted for 4.0% ($57.2 bn).

The six largest markets in the region (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands) accounted for 76.7% of expenditure in Western Europe.

Pre-pandemic business travel in Western Europe had already started to slow, increasing by only 1.3% between 2018 to 2019 (the average global business travel growth over the last 10 years was 5.1%, slowing to 1.5% 2018-2019).

Key findings of GBTA’s BTI™ Outlook include an analysis of 2020 challenges for the business travel industry as well as a recovery forecast.

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COVID-19 News

WHO Authorizes AstraZeneca’s COVID Vaccine for Emergency Use (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Coronavirus Cases Decline Across U.S., but Experts Urge Caution (NBC)


Industry Spotlight

Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s All-New Virtual Event:
Ready. Safe. Travel. Summit

Tomorrow | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST

GBTA’s Ready. Safe. Travel. (RST) advocacy campaign premiered in November 2020 as the Association’s effort to unite the global business travel industry and drive momentum toward a full recovery. The Ready. Safe. Travel. Summit’s purpose is to educate and prepare our membership and the industry for the evolution of business travel as a result of the on-going pandemic. As we head into 2021, much has changed and is continuing to impact our industry.

Many factors continue to challenge our industry and create more questions: government response to COVID, vaccine distribution, new variants, global entry policies and quarantine rules, etc. The RST Summit will ensure we address these relevant and timely issues and continue to move forward our industry.

Register Now >>


Regional Town Hall
Mark Your Calendar for Next Week’s GBTA Canada Town Hall

Wednesday, February 24 | 3:00 PM ET

2021 began with so much uncertainty and an abundance of changes that further impact the global travel industry. In Canada, rising Covid-19 levels, additional lockdowns and newly imposed government restrictions will continue to breed uncertainty around travel and meetings.

During our first town hall for the year, we will share how GBTA Canada is adapting to support our industry for 2021. We will also hear from Mike McNaney, President and CEO of the National Airline Council of Canada, a leading voice in the Canadian aviation sector, who will share the latest insights around the current airline situation, the status of government response, and the importance of restoring air travel.

Following that, GBTA will feature our latest research on the Canadian specific data for the GBTA Business Travel Index (BTI). Economist Jon Gray from GBTA’s research partner Rockport Analytics will highlight details of how Covid-19 impacted business travel in 2020 and what the Canadian industry has in store for 2021 and the forecast to recovery.

Register Now >>

The GBTA BTI™ Outlook Was Made Possible By Enterprise

GBTA Convention 2021

Register for GBTA Convention 2021

Join your peers at The Business Travel Event of the Year® for exclusive education and networking around the latest industry trends, technologies, challenges, and solutions facing the business travel industry. GBTA Convention 2021 will take place July 17-21 in Orlando, Florida.

Registration rates increase March 1.

Register Today >>

GBTA and the Orange County Convention Center are taking extra measures to ensure your safety at GBTA Convention 2021.

Learn More >>


Job Board
Is Your Company Hiring?

Use the GBTA Career Center to post your business travel job openings and access thousands of qualified industry professionals looking to make their next career move.

Get Started >>


Trending Industry News

Top Story

CDC Won’t Recommend Requiring Covid Tests for Domestic Flights ‘At This Time’ (USA TODAY)

Aviation Industry News

Houston Airports Close, 3,800+ Flights Canceled as Winter Storm Pounds Southern US (USA TODAY)

Which Airports Have Closed Due to the US Winter Storm? (SIMPLE FLYING)

South Africa Opens Its Land Borders – What About Air Travel? (SIMPLE FLYING)

Southwest Airlines Inaugurates Chicago O’Hare Services (SIMPLE FLYING)

Hospitality Industry News

Is Hospitality Ready to Service the Digitally Savvy Travel Consumer? (PHOCUSWIRE)

Ground Transportation Industy News

Here’s What the Future of Business Travel Looks Like (SIFTED)

EasyJet Boss Talks Sustainability, Business Travel and Uncomfortable Decisions (PHOCUSWIRE)


Have You Submitted Your Proposal?

GBTA is accepting proposals for GBTA Conference 2021 – Wiesbaden in Partnership with VDR. Our new 45-minute sessions reflect the needs of our travel professionals Are you interested in leading an education session? Submit a proposal today!

Learn More >>


WorldAware Intelligence Brief 

Canada and United States – System to Bring Rounds of Heavy Snowfall, Ice, and Strong Winds to Multiple Regions

Greece and Turkey – Heavy Snowfall and Strong Winds Forecast Across Multiple Regions Through at Least Feb. 17

United States – Authorities in Wyoming Ease COVID-19-Related Restrictions

United States – Authorities in Nevada Ease Statewide COVID-19 Restrictions due to Decreased Disease Activity

United States – Officials in Minnesota Further Ease Restrictions due to Decreases in COVID-19 Activity

United States – Heavy Rainfall, Strong Winds, Hail, and Possible Flooding Forecast Across Southeastern Regions through at Least Early Feb. 19


COVID-19 Resources 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Visa Information

View Additional Resources >>


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