Dave Hilfman’s Monday Memo to GBTA Members

Friends and Colleagues:


As we head toward an odd, socially distanced Thanksgiving holiday in such a challenging year, it might be tempting to look past all the things we have to be thankful for, even now, even in 2020. I hope each and every one of you is able to take a moment to count your blessings this year. What’s good about 2020, you ask? I can think of a few things.


Last week, we saw important news stories about the effective COVID-19 vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna. With the potential for a vaccine rollout beginning next month, these COVID fighters could represent the leading edge of a return to travel for our industry. And there is absolutely an appetite to resume business travel, as we see in the results of our latest GBTA poll.


The takeaway from this, our 13th poll since the beginning of the year: Based on the distribution of an effective vaccine, 60 percent of GBTA members say their company would be likely (44%) or very likely (16%) to allow business travel and in-person meetings in 2021. About 20 percent of respondents were neutral on the resumption. Only 10% said their company would be unlikely to allow employees to return to travel next year, with the remaining 11 percent describing themselves as uncertain.


You can read the full poll on the GBTA website.


On the Association front, I want to remind you that the GBTA Annual Business Meeting will be held virtually on December 7, 2020 from 11 am to 12:30 pm EST. The agenda promises to be packed with relevant content, including:


  • My presentation of the GBTA annual report, as required by the laws governing non-profit organizations like ours.
  • A number of awards and recognition for our best and brightest, including the President’s, Allied Member of the Year, Direct Member of the Year and Committee Member of the Year honors. We will also announce our Business Travel Service Awards honorees.
  • Finally, we will announce the results of the current GBTA Board of Directors election.


Voting for the Board’s open Allied Member at Large seat is underway. Three candidates are running for the position, with the winner serving a two-year term on the Board beginning December 7th and concluding with the 2022 GBTA Convention.


Only Allied members are eligible to vote in this all-digital election. Voting ends Friday, December 4 at 5:00 PM EST. You can get more information on the website.


Finally, if you think you have what it takes to be a social and online media star, we need your help – and you’ll have the chance to take home a $1,000 GBTA scholarship. Our ongoing Ready. Safe. Travel. campaign is soliciting :15 to :30 videos that answer the question, “What does Ready. Safe. Travel. Mean to you?” Grab your smartphone, best props and a guest star or two, and do your best amateur Spielberg impersonation.


You can get video tips and all the entry info you need with a simple click.


Have a great Thanksgiving – and please don’t forget to be thankful, even in 2020.