Dave Hilfman’s Monday Memo to GBTA Members

Dear Friends and Colleagues:


I’m not sure about you, but to me, it seems that 2020 will never end and has been the longest year in human history (that distinction actually goes to 46 BC). With that being said, however, I still can’t quite believe we have actually arrived at the Holiday Season!


While this year’s celebrations may look different from those in years past, hopefully everyone will take a moment to reflect on the small bright spots of 2020 and the importance of family and friends. I’m particularly grateful to all of you throughout the business travel industry who have been so kind and supportive of me during my time here at GBTA.


But, before we can fully wind down 2020, there is still some important information to convey.


Results from GBTA’s Latest COVID-19 Member Poll


Results from our latest poll, fielded December 7-13, indicate a large majority of respondents expect to be ready to attend an in-person meeting or event with attendees outside their company (89%) and inside their company (87%) by the second half of 2021. This is just one of the many key pieces of data uncovered by this poll. Click here to view additional insights and data.


It has been rewarding to see the evolution of this polling series, as it has been so well-regarded among media outlets, industry leaders, policymakers, government agencies and our members. As we move into 2021, and the state of the pandemic changes, GBTA will continue running this informative survey of our industry.


GBTA Convention 2021: Registration Now Open


As the travel industry outlook for 2021 continues to look promising, your GBTA staff is hard at work preparing for the annual GBTA Convention, July 17-21, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. Register for this flagship event here.


The convention theme will be a continuation of our enterprising Ready. Safe. Travel. campaign. We’re planning a robust agenda, with both in-person and virtual offerings, allowing for even more members to participate. You can be assured that as we plan for this important event, the health and safety of all attendees will be our top priority.


A Call for Volunteers: ACTE Integration


With the recent acquisition of the key assets of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), GBTA has the unique opportunity to unite the best of two premier organizations in the business travel industry.


We need your help. We’re looking for volunteers from across the business travel world (Buyer, Supplier, Media, Member, Non-Member) who have expertise in the following areas to serve on the integration committee:


  • Blended research and education
  • Advocacy
  • Networking
  • Membership
  • Branding


A successful integration, with input from members across the Association, will ensure we get the most out of GBTA’s investment in ACTE’s brand and robust intellectual assets. To volunteer for this important effort, email your name, email address and a brief description of your area of interest and expertise to [email protected] by January 4, 2021. Potential volunteers will be contacted to discuss the project and its timeline and to answer any questions you may have.


Ready. Safe. Travel. Video Contest Winners Selected


As I mentioned earlier, our Ready. Safe. Travel. unity campaign is off to a great start. As part of that campaign, we asked you to submit a short video explaining what “Ready. Safe. Travel.” means to you, and we put up GBTA scholarships as prizes to the two most creative submissions. Congratulations to Kari Bigot from ALTOUR and Darren L’Appanna with the Orlando International Airport for creating and submitting the winning entries – you each receive a $1,000 GBTA scholarship to use on the program of your choice!


BTI Outlook Date is Set


Mark your calendars. The GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report and Forecast, a comprehensive study of business travel spending and growth across the globe, will be presented by webinar on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. More information is forthcoming regarding how you can join us for this presentation.


During this holiday season, I hope you’re able to get some rest and connect safely with your loved ones. Happy Holidays to you and yours.