GBTA Convention 2023 Showcases Positive Forecast, Trends and Learning for the Future of the Global Business Travel Industry

World’s largest gathering of the global business travel industry delivers latest growth forecast, learning and education sessions, and insights on key topics including sustainability, technology, workforce development, and DE&I initiatives

The global business travel industry and in-person events continue to build momentum as evidenced by the robust attendance, critical insights and attendee engagement that took place this week at GBTA Convention 2023 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

The industry came together to connect, learn, grow, and discover, with more than 5,200 registered attendees from 58 countries, over 1,100 travel buyers from 600+ buyer companies, and over 300 exhibitors. The evolution and state of the global business travel industry, future of work, sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion were just some of the prominent topics as the industry continues to move forward in a post-pandemic world.

“As is GBTA’s mission and promise, Convention is a platform where we bring together in-person the ‘many voices’ in the industry for the ‘one purpose’ of building a better future for business travel through community, learning and advocacy,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “As GBTA just revealed in our latest five-year forecast report, global business travel is expected to continue to be a resilient industry that is poised for growth while delivering value to global economies, companies and business travelers alike.”

GBTA announced newly elected volunteer leaders

GBTA unveiled the results of its 2023 elections including five newly elected Board members and other elected leadership positions who will begin to serve immediately for a two-year term.

  • President: Mark Cuschieri, Executive Director, Global Head of Travel, UBS
  • Vice President: Rosemary Maloney, Manager, Global Travel, Expense & Card, Alteryx
  • Direct Seat, Director-At-Large: Carol Fergus, Director, Global Travel Events & Ground Transportation, Fidelity International
  • Allied Seat, Director-At-Large: Mike Daly, Senior Vice President, Serko
  • Regional Director – Canada (Direct Member): Elizabeth Oliveira, Global Travel Manager, OMERS
  • Allied Leadership Council Chair: Tammy Routh, Senior Vice President, Global Sales Organization, Marriott International
  • Chapter Presidents Council (CPC) President: Ronda Dean, Travel Manager, F5 Networks

Key programming highlights from GBTA Convention 2023

  • The WINiT by GBTA Summit engaged, inspired and challenged industry professionals of all levels with the sole mission to positively ignite the careers and lives of women in travel-related industries.
  • Back by popular demand, GBTA Foundation again hosted a Sustainability Pavilion and programming including creative and innovative ways to make business travel more environmentally friendly, eco-aware and sustainable.
  • Convention 2023 also hosted new and returning spaces to learn, connect and relax, including the Innovation Pavilion, Wellness Lounge, and Connect First Lounge for first-time attendees to help participants make the most of their Convention experience.

Industry conversations and evolution featured on the Main Stage

  • Convention kicked off with keynote speaker and explorer, Chris Bashinelli, who took attendees on an international adventure, aided with stunning video footage and thought-provoking content, in a session entitled “The Power of Human Connection.”
  • In the Future of the Workforce panel discussion, panelists explored the role DE&I initiatives play in fostering an environment of belonging, and how we all can support a culture of acceptance and wellbeing.
  • Attendees also learned how to Master the Chemistry of Change from Cassandra Worthy, Founder & CEO of Change Enthusiasm®, who shared a self-assessment strategy to transform emotions and redirect anxiety and fears into moments of opportunity.
  • The Industry Insights on Sustainability panel, moderated by Neufang featured Anthony Capuano, President and CEO of Marriott International and Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines who delved into how today’s top leaders are transforming their operations to drive a positive impact on a global scale in tandem with long-term shareholder value, and what differences the business travel industry can make. 
  • Sustainability keynote Paul Polman, Business Leader, Campaigner, and Co-Author of “Net Positive,” urged attendees to become courageous leaders, and use business as a force for good through principles of Net Positive leadership and the personal, company and broader system changes needed to reach a more sustainable and equitable planet.
  • Convention 2023 concluded with a 10- and 20- year Forecast in Business Travel discussion with keynote Amy Webb, Futurist Founder & CEO of the Future Today Institute, who provided a series of snapshots into the near and far future of business and society along with how organizations can achieve their preferred future and tackle tomorrow’s most pressing questions about work, relationships, and our way of living.

GBTA Convention as the platform for industry news, research and connection

  • During GBTA Media Day more than 20 industry companies announced their breaking news and industry firsts, while GBTA Broadcast Studio hosted over 40 executive interviews from some of the leading and most innovative companies in business travel over the course of the Convention.
  • GBTA unveiled the 2023 Business Travel Index ™ Outlook report* in collaboration with Visa. The report revealed that the global business travel industry is forecast to rebound at a more accelerated rate than predicted last year – with expectations to exceed pre-pandemic spending levels of $1.4 trillion in 2024 and grow to nearly $1.8 trillion by 2027. In 2022, global business travel spending rose 47% to $1.03 trillion, with strong gains continuing and 32% growth expected in 2023. (GBTA members can exclusively download a full copy of the 2023 GBTA BTI* on the GBTA Hub.)
  • Check out the full photo gallery from GBTA Convention 2023 here. And beginning next week, attendees can access replay of education sessions via the Convention mobile app and also the attendee hub.

Celebrating outstanding GBTA volunteer contributors

GBTA recognized the industry professionals who give generously of their time and talents throughout the year to serve the association, its members and the industry:

  • GBTA Direct Member of the Year AwardBenjamin Park, Executive Director, Travel and Sustainability, Parexel International
  • GBTA Allied Member of the Year AwardSamantha Bean, Corporate Director, Sales Development, LTD Hospitality Group
  • 2023 President’s AwardRita Visser, Director of Global Travel Sourcing and GPO, Oracle
  • 2023 Hilfman Leadership ScholarshipMike Daly, Senior Vice President, Serko

A look forward to future GBTA global conventions, conferences, and events

GBTA also announced that GBTA Convention 2024 will be held July 22-24 in Atlanta, Georgia and in 2025 in Denver, Colorado on July 23-25. Other upcoming GBTA regional events include the GBTA APAC Conference in Singapore in September and the GBTA + VDR Europe Conference in Hamburg in November.