At GBTA Convention 2014 in Los Angeles, the GBTA Foundation first announced The Gift of Knowledge Initiative. This new initiative would develop and implement an innovative and comprehensive program to further develop the travel management profession in China. Thanks to the support of United as a founding leadership partner and other industry leaders, Ctrip Corporate Travel, IHG, Star Alliance and Wyndham Hotel Group, as Gold partners, this initiative has become a reality.
As China continues its push to become the single largest business travel market in the world, this effort provides localized travel management education to travel professionals in China, from entry level to executive level education, as well as training workshops and GTP certification. With the unprecedented growth of the business travel industry in the region, the number of qualified business travel professionals has struggled to keep up with the rise in demand leaving a clear and urgent need for this holistic education and training.
Since the first announcement, GBTA partnered with Fudan University, one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the country, as well as local industry subject matter experts to assist in the development of educational curriculum, providing a clear path for future leaders in the business travel industry.
The GBTA China Advisory Board, works to ensure all content is and will be delivered with a local perspective that caters to the unique audience of business travel professionals in China.
Hamish Wang, Travel Manager for Apple, recently took on the role of Chair of the Advisory Board. Other Board Members include:
- James Alba-Duignan, Regional Vice President, Head of Corporation Solutions, APAC, Diners Club International
- Chris Chen, Director of Key Account DB-APAC Region, Ctrip Corporate Travel
- Olive Chu, Purchasing Manager, Tetrapak China
- Lingyun Fan, Regional Travel Manager, Asia Pacific, General Motors
- Robin Han Bing, Director, Global Sales, Asia Pacific, Radius Travel
- Chen Hu, Vice President, ZTE Corporation
- Kitty Huang, Vice President-Global Sales, Asia Pacific, Wyndham Hotel Group
- Victor Lim, Regional Meeting & Travel Manager, IKEA
- Eliza Lin, General Sales Manager, Eastern China Region, United Airlines
- Michelle Ni, Corporate Sales Executive, Star Alliance
- Cinn Tan
- WyeYin Tan, Head of Sales, IHG
- Simon Tang, Manager–Business Development/Employment Service, Hong Kong Travel & Tourism Training Centre
- Frances Wang, Travel Management Specialist, China, Harman International Industries
- Barbara Zhou, President, STO MICE
I am excited that we have now fully transitioned from the planning stages to delivery. September featured two Gift of Knowledge Workshops. The first took place September 10 in Shanghai at the Shanghai JW Marriott Hotel and the second on September 18 in Beijing at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center.
In total, nearly 120 attendees, featured speakers and panelists gathered for a full day of education and training. Content included an overview of the GBTA Foundation’s annual global business travel forecast as well as the semi-annual China business travel outlook. Panel sessions focused on the sharing economy, an overview of buyer-supplier relationships and strategic sourcing. The sessions also provided a great networking opportunity for industry professionals to share insights and ideas on timely topics, opportunities and challenges.
We are thrilled about the success of these initial workshops and the support of our Gift of Knowledge Partners, including: United Airlines, Ctrip Corporate Travel, IHG, Star Alliance and Wyndham Hotel Group. We look forward to continue delivering on the promise of providing leading education for Chinese business travel professionals. Our next session is scheduled for November 6 in Shenzhen and registration information will be available soon.