The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Looking Ahead: 2019 Travel Risks

With 2019 rapidly approaching, as the holiday season winds down, another year of corporate travel begins. Is your organization maintaining its Duty of Care legal obligation? Here are four items to think about for the upcoming year:

  • 24/7 healthcare and security support for your mobile workers
    • In order to operate and grow your business, your employees must travel and work internationally. This means they are often faced with environments that they are unfamiliar with. This level of uncertainty puts them at risk. Even a minor health or security issue, if unchecked, can quickly escalate into a more serious problem. Furthermore, your ability to respond to these risks, can ultimately impact your workforces’ happiness and morale.
  • Automated crises response
    • You know your people are affected by an incident.  You are immediately concerned about them. But you are not in the office. What do you do?
  • Address mental health issues
    • Life as a mobile worker can bring unforeseen stress and strain. Dealing with the complexity of business travel or life abroad can impact your mobile workforce's health and wellbeing. Having an emotional support service to your people when they are traveling or based in a foreign country is an integral part of an organization’s global risk management program.
  • Communicate with impacted people
    • Terrorist attacks, extreme weather, civil unrest. In a crisis, knowing where your people are and ensuring their safety can be a challenge. Having a Travel Risk Management partner can provide support in these critical times.

Having a Travel Risk Management partner  robust travel risk solutions that help organizations protect their people, meet their Duty of Care requirements and save money.

Week in Review

Marriott International revealed that hackers breached its reservation system, compromising the personal data of up to 500 million guests, The New York Times reports. The personal information includes credit card numbers, addresses, and passport numbers.

The hack began four years ago, and the hackers left behind clues that suggest they were working for a Chinese government intelligence-gathering operation, CNBC notes.

According to Travel Weekly, the hotel chain could face a fine of up to £20 million because of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced a new Open Skies-type agreement between Canada and the UK, TravelDailyNews International reports. The agreement will allow Canadian and British air carriers to operate between both countries and give full flexibility on route selection, service frequency, and pricing. It will take effect after Brexit, when the UK will no longer be covered by the EU-Canada Air Transport Agreement.  

GBTA wrapped up its ninth annual conference in Europe last week, with nearly 1,100 attendees from 30+ countries. The hot topics of the conference were automation, fragmentation and consolidation.

During the conference, our Executive Director & COO Mike McCormick and Konstantin Sixt discussed the future of mobility, challenges facing ground transportation and the future of Sixt as a company.

According to TravelPulse, Uber is launching a new minibus service in Cairo. The ride-sharing company wants to alleviate traffic congestion by enticing individuals to use the minibus service in place of personal automobiles.

At the beginning of the month, Conde Nast Traveler reports LaGuardia opened 11 gates in its brand new Terminal B, amounting to 243,000 square feet of space.

Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Waymo launched the first phase of its self-driving ride-hailing service in Phoenix on Wednesday, Auto Rental News writes. A limited number of people can access the app to hail a self-driving vehicle, and each car will feature a safety driver for the duration of the ride.

In other ground transportation news, peer-to-peer car rental app Getaround launched in Denver on Thursday. According to BusinessDen, car owners can list their vehicles for rent through the app by providing a description of their car and setting an availability schedule.

United launched a new premium economy offering for its longer international flights, CNBC notes. The seats fall between coach and business class and come with more legroom, amenity kits, and other perks.

Podcast: Live From Berlin: The Future of Aviation

This week’s episode of The Business of Travel comes to you once again from GBTA Conference 2018 Berlin in Partnership with VDR. Hear the Airline C-Level Panel - The 2020 Vision On Aviation, which took place on Centre Stage during the Conference featuring execs from Finnair, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic sharing their thoughts on the future of aviation.  



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Podcast: Live From Berlin: One on One Interview With Konstantin Sixt

This week’s episode of The Business of Travel comes to you from GBTA Conference 2018 Berlin in Partnership with VDR. GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick interviews Konstantin Sixt of Sixt. The discussion focuses on the future of mobility, challenges facing ground transportation and the future of Sixt as a company.



You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!

Newsletter: GBTA Novembro 2018

Executivos que viajam a negócios afirmam que lealdade é relevante na reserva de hotéis

Em média, executivos que viajam a negócios consideram três hotéis antes de fazer a reserva e 82% comentam que os programas de lealdade são relevantes na tomada de decisão, de acordo com nova pesquisa da GBTA em associação com Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Adicionalmente, o estudo revelou que 9 entre 10 passageiros de negócios levam em consideração os pontos promocionais como um fator motivacional na seleção do hotel e 81% considera que ser membro do programa de lealdade resulta em um melhor serviço.

Os executivos que viajam a negócios tendem a se dividir no que diz respeito ao uso de pontos de lealdade em viagens de negócio (49%) versus o uso futuro de estadas de lazer (43%).

Uma vasta maioria (84%) dos viajantes a negócios sentem que ter uma experiência personalizada é importante e muitos acham que essa experiência deveria diferir de uma viagem de lazer. Este gráfico resume o que os passageiros de negócio desejam de uma experiência personalizada:

“Desde a reserva ao check out, nossa pesquisa confirma que a personalização é altamente valorizada por parte dos viajantes a negócios, com muitos deles buscando experiências de hotel na mesma medida de suas necessidades de viagem”, afirmou Jessica Collison, Diretora de Pesquisa da GBTA. “Tanto os compradores de viagens como os fornecedores deveriam avaliar como os fatores de personalização incidem nas reservas de hotel e na experiência do hóspede quando tem que ver com o desenho de seus programas de viagens e de lealdade”. Mais informação aqui.


83% das executivas viajando a negócios mencionaram preocupações com segurança no ano passado

De acordo com uma nova pesquisa da GBTA, em associação com AIG Travel, 8 de 10 (83%) mulheres viajando a negócios, afirmaram que experenciaram uma vez ou mais vezes mais preocupações relativas com a segurança ou com incidentes enquanto viajavam por motivo de trabalho no ano passado.

Resultados importantes do estudo realizado mostram que:

  • 90% comentaram preocupação com a sua segurança, gerando efeito nas atividades realizadas fora das horas de trabalho enquanto estavam em uma viagem de negócios.
  • 86% informaram impacto no comportamento da reserva, como o fato de reservarem somente voos durante o dia ou em uma locação central de hospedagem.
  • 81% indicaram que sua frequência de viagem de negócios foi impactada por preocupações de segurança.
  • 80% comentaram que as preocupações com segurança impactaram sua produtividade nas viagens de negócio.
  • 71% acham que enfrentam um risco maior no caminho que suas contrapartes masculinas.
  • As mulheres tomam precauções em muitas facetas de sua vida, devido a preocupações de segurança: aproximadamente metade das mulheres se comunicam regularmente com seu escritório, sua família e seus amigos (58%); somente ficam em alojamentos de confiança (56%) ou compartilham seu itinerário com família e amigos (56%), entre outras medidas de segurança.

“Altos níveis de preocupação têm um impacto tangível nas viagens de negócio para as mulheres”, afirmou Amanda Cecil, Vice-Presidente Senior de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Profissional da GBTA. “Uma pesquisa prévia da GBTA mostrou o imenso impacto que a experiência de viagem pode ter na produtividade e nos resultados de negócios enquanto estamos viajando. Afinal de contas, todos os profissionais que viajam querem ser produtivos e fazer negócios, por isso entender os riscos específicos que as profissionais que viajam a negócios enfrentam no caminho dão aos compradores de viagens um papel crítico na abordagem dessas preocupações”.

Mais informação sobre o estudo aqui.


GBTA anuncia a formação da Junta Assessora Estratégica da WINiT

A GBTA anunciou a formação da Junta Assessora Estratégica de WINiT, que dará direção e guia especializada para o futuro da WINiT, como uma iniciativa da Junta Diretiva da GBTA.

Durante a Convenção 2018, a GBTA anunciou a aquisição de WINiT, uma rede de desenvolvimento profissional cujo objetivo é incrementar a visibilidade e o avanço das mulheres no campo das viagens e da indústria de reuniões, eventos e exposições. 

“GBTA está comprometida com exercer uma mudança positiva para o desenvolvimento profissional das mulheres”, afirmou Christle Johnson, Presidente da GBTA. “Estamos orgulhosos de ter este destacado grupo de líderes da indústria de viagens conosco para ajudar a avançar na missão da WINiT a nível global”.

Os membros da Junta Assessora incluem a:

  • Presidente – Dorothy Dowling, Vice-Presidente Sênior & CMO, Best Western® Hotels & Resort
  • Vice-Presidente – Michelle ‘Mick’ Lee, Fundadora, WINiT, Diretora-Geral, Arrow 212
  • Delores Alexander, Vice-Presidente, Indirect Supply Chain, Boeing
  • Jodi Allen, Vice-Presidente Executiva & CMO, Hertz
  • Michele Bryant, Chefe Global do Escritório de Compras, Deloitte
  • Amanda Cecil, PhD, CMP, Vice-Presidente Sênior, Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Profissional, GBTA
  • Mary Ellen George, Chefe para América do Norte, Tramada Systems
  • Christle Johnson, Vice-Presidente, Travel & Business Services, Johnson Downie, LLC; Presidente GBTA
  • Beth Kinerk, Vice-Presidente Sênior, Avis Budget Group
  • Melissa Maher, Vice-Presidente Sênior, Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc.
  • Michael W. McCormick, Diretor Executivo e COO, GBTA
  • Traci Mercer, Vice-Presidente Sênior, Lodging, Ground and Sea, Sabre Travel Network
  • Malaika Myers, Chefe de Recursos Humanos, Hyatt Hotel Corporation
  • Becca Rabinowitz, Chefe de SpotHero for Business
  • Dawn Repoli, Vice-Presidente, Desenvolvimento de Programas, Unidade de Negócios de WINiT em GBTA
  • Kristen Shovlin, Vice-Presidente, Vendas, Operações & Desenvolvimento, Delta Airlines
  • Scott Solombrino, Presidente e CEO, Dav El / Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network; Presidente, Allied Leadership Council de GBTA.
  • Dorothy Dowling, Presidente da Junta Assessora Estratégica de WINiT

Maior informação aqui.


Meios de comunicação argentinos foram ressaltados na sétima edição da Conferência GBTA em Buenos Aires

A sétima edição da Conferência GBTA em Buenos Aires, Argentina, realizada no mês de outubro no Hotel Four Seasons não passou desapercebida para os meios argentinos como o Clarim. Este difundiu uma ampla informação sobre o foro: “O Cenário Atual da Aviação em Argentina: As Vozes dos Protagonistas”, no qual participaram alguns dos executivos das linhas aéreas mais importantes que operam em esse país, como Emiliano Ganduglia (Linhas Aéreas Argentinas), Viviana Santanello (Air Europa), Martín Torres Carmona (Avianca) e Ary Murekian (United Airlines).

O Clarim menciona que em relação com a visão da atualidade e do futuro da indústria da aviação, Ganduglia explicou que “o mercado aéreo comercial mudou na Argentina e isso nos põe pressão para que as pessoas continuem nos escolhendo. Isso nos obriga a melhorar e diminuir custos. Na Linhas Aéreas Argentinas contamos com um grande produto que conecta a Argentina com os principais destinos da região. Buscamos competir com as low cost em tarifas, mas nos diferenciamos no produto: 91 de 100 dos nossos voos saem no horário, um diferencial, junto à quantidade de vôos por dia e o programa de passageiro frequente”. No transcurso desse ano, a Linhas Aéreas Argentinas chegou a ser a segunda mais pontual do mundo.

Torres Carmona agregou que “com uma economia dinâmica o passageiro vai mudando. Isso gera algo de incerteza, mas faz com que nosso trabalho possa se adaptar e melhorar a eficiência em matéria de custos e operacionalidade”. Também explicou que a Avianca, que está por celebrar 100 anos, destaca-se por tecnologia e pontualidade.

Murekian focou na segurança e assinalou que a United Airlines está sendo muito competitiva no mercado de leisure. Agregou que a companhia aérea está focada em encontrar soluções à medida dos clientes corporativos.

Por seu lado, Santanello comentou que é fundamental “sermos cuidadosos com os custos, escutar o cliente e estar atento à tecnologia”. Assinalou, como exemplo, que todos os voos da AirEuropa oferecem Internet a bordo.  O artigo completo pode ser visto aqui.

O portal destacou a participação na conferência do secretário nacional de Desenvolvimento e Promoção Turística, Alejandro Lastra, a quem deu as boas-vindas ao travel Manager de Gestão Compartilhada e Presidente do Capítulo Voluntário de GBTA na Argentina, Horácio Cristaldo, quem agradeceu a presença e o apoio nacional, enquanto Lastra indicou o seguinte: “por sorte para o desenvolvimento do nosso país a conectividade aérea vem sendo incrementada, a infraestrutura, o investimento hoteleiro e isto permite planejar melhor as viagens e gerar mais oportunidades em matéria econômica”.

Também destacou o trabalho da GBTA e incitou a seguir trabalhando juntos para gerar mais crescimento e mais emprego. A nota completa pode ser lida aqui.

Newsletter: GBTA América Latina Noviembre 2018

Viajeros de negocio afirman que la lealtad importa en la reservación de hoteles

En promedio, los viajeros de negocio consideran tres hoteles antes de hacer la reservación y el 82% señalan que los programas de lealtad importan cuando toman la decisión, de acuerdo con una nueva investigación de GBTA en asocio con Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Adicionalmente, el estudio reveló que 9 de 10 viajeros de negocios toman en cuenta los puntos de premio como un factor motivacional en la selección del hotel y el 81% cree que ser un miembro del programa de lealtad resulta en un mejor servicio.

Los viajeros de negocio tienden a dividirse en lo que tiene que ver con el uso de puntos de lealtad en viajes de negocio (49%) versus el uso futuro de estadías de placer (43%).

Una vasta mayoría (84%) de los viajeros de negocio sienten que tener una experiencia personalizada es importante y muchos creen que esa experiencia debería diferir de aquella de un viaje de placer. Este gráfico resume lo que los viajeros de negocio desean de una experiencia personalizada:

“Desde la reservación al check out,  nuestra investigación confirma que la personalización es valorada altamente por parte de los viajeros de negocio con muchos de ellos buscando experiencias de hotel a la medida de sus necesidades de viaje”, afirmó Jessica Collison, directora de Investigación de GBTA. “Tanto los compradores de viajes como los proveedores deberían evaluar cómo los factores de personalización inciden en las reservaciones de hotel y la experiencia del huésped cuando tienen que ver con el diseño de sus programas de viajes y de lealtad”. Más información aquí.


El 83% de las viajeras de negocio reportó preocupaciones de seguridad el pasado año

De acuerdo con una nueva investigación de GBTA en asocio con AIG Travel, 8 de 10 (83%) de las mujeres viajeras de negocio afirmaron que han experimentado una o más preocupaciones relativas a la seguridad o incidentes mientras viajaban por motivo de trabajo el pasado año.

Resultados clave del estudio de las mujeres viajeras muestran que:

  • El 90% señaló preocupación acerca de que la seguridad tuviera un efecto en las actividades realizadas durante el tiempo personal mientras se encontraban en un viaje de negocios.
  • El 86% reporta un impacto en el comportamiento de reservación, como el hecho de reservar solo vuelos durante el día o en una locación central de hospedaje.
  • El 81% indica que su frecuencia de viaje de negocios ha sido impactada por preocupaciones de seguridad.
  • El 80% señala que las preocupaciones de seguridad han impactado su productividad en los viajes de negocio.
  • El 71% cree que enfrenta un riesgo mayor en el camino que sus contrapartes masculinas.
  • Las mujeres toman precauciones en muchas facetas de su vida debido a preocupaciones de seguridad: cerca de la mitad de las mujeres se comunican regularmente con su oficina, familia y amigos (58%); solo se quedan en alojamientos de confianza (56%) o comparten su itinerario con familia y amigos (56%), entre otras medidas de seguridad.

“Altos niveles de preocupación tienen un impacto tangible en los viajes de negocio para las mujeres”, afirmó Amanda Cecil, Vice Presidenta Senior de Investigación y Desarrollo Profesional de GBTA. “Investigación previa de GBTA ha mostrado el inmenso impacto que la experiencia de viaje puede tener en la productividad y los resultados de negocios mientras se está de viaje. Ultimadamente, todos los viajeros quieren ser productivos y hacer los negocios, por lo que entender los riesgos específicos que las viajeras de negocio enfrentan en el camino puede permitir a los compradores de viajes jugar un rol crítico en el abordaje de esas preocupaciones”.

Más información sobre el estudio aquí.


GBTA anuncia la formación de la Junta Asesora Estratégica de WINiT

Dorothy Dowling, Presidenta de la Junta Asesora Estratégica de WINiT

GBTA anunció la formación de la Junta Asesora Estratégica de WINiT, la cual brindará dirección y guía especializada para el futuro de WINiT, como una iniciativa de la Junta Directiva de GBTA.

Durante la Convención 2018, GBTA anunció la adquisición de WINiT, una red de desarrollo profesional cuyo objetivo es incrementar la visibilidad y el avance de las mujeres en el campo de los viajes y la industria de reuniones, eventos y exhibiciones. 

“GBTA está comprometida con ejercer un cambio positivo para el desarrollo profesional de las mujeres”, afirmó Christle Johnson, Presidenta de GBTA. “Estamos orgullosos de tener este sobresaliente grupo de líderes de la industria de viajes con nosotros para ayudar a avanzar la misión de WINiT a nivel global”.

Los miembros de la Junta Asesora incluyen a:

  • Presidenta – Dorothy Dowling, Vice Presidenta Senior & CMO, Best Western® Hotels & Resort
  • Vice Presidenta – Michelle ‘Mick’ Lee, fundadora, WINiT, Directora General, Arrow 212
  • Delores Alexander, Vice Presidenta, Indirect Supply Chain, Boeing
  • Jodi Allen, Vice Presidenta Ejecutiva & CMO, Hertz
  • Michele Bryant, Jefe Global de la Oficina de Compras, Deloitte
  • Amanda Cecil, PhD, CMP, Vice Presidenta Senior, Investigación y Desarrollo Profesional, GBTA
  • Mary Ellen George, Jefa para Norteamérica, Tramada Systems
  • Christle Johnson, Vice Presidenta, Travel & Business Services, Johnson Downie, LLC; Presidenta GBTA
  • Beth Kinerk, Vice Presidenta Senior, Avis Budget Group
  • Melissa Maher, Vice Presidenta Senior, Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc.
  • Michael W. McCormick, Director Ejecutivo y  COO, GBTA
  • Traci Mercer, Vice Presidenta Senior, Lodging, Ground and Sea, Sabre Travel Network
  • Malaika Myers, Jefa de Recursos Humanos, Hyatt Hotel Corporation
  • Becca Rabinowitz, Jefe de SpotHero for Business
  • Dawn Repoli, Vice Presidenta, Desarrollo de Programas, Unidad de Negocios de WINiT en GBTA
  • Kristen Shovlin, Vice Presidenta, Ventas, Operaciones & Desarrollo, Delta Airlines
  • Scott Solombrino, Presidente and CEO, Dav El / Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network; Presidente, Allied Leadership Council de GBTA.

Mayor información aquí.


Medios de comunicación argentinos resaltan séptima edición de la Conferencia GBTA en Buenos Aires

La séptima edición de la Conferencia GBTA en Buenos Aires, Argentina, realizada el pasado mes de octubre en el hotel Four Seasons, no pasó desapercibida para medios argentinos como Clarín. Este difundió una amplia información sobre el foro: “El Escenario Actual de la Aviación en Argentina: Las Voces de los Protagonistas”, en el que participaron algunos de los ejecutivos de las líneas aéreas más importantes que operan en ese país, como Emiliano Ganduglia (Aerolíneas Argentinas), Viviana Santanello (Air Europa), Martín Torres Carmona (Avianca) y Ary Murekian (United Airlines).

Apunta Clarín que en relación con la visión de la actualidad y futuro de la industria de la aviación, Ganduglia explicó que “el mercado aerocomercial cambió en Argentina y eso nos pone presión para que la gente nos siga eligiendo. Nos obliga a mejorar y bajar costos. En Aerolíneas Argentinas contamos con un gran producto que conecta a todo el país y a la Argentina con los principales destinos de la región. Buscamos competir con las low cost en tarifas pero nos diferenciamos en el producto: 91 de 100 de nuestros vuelos salen en horario, un diferencial, junto a la cantidad de frecuencias y el programa de viajero frecuente”. En lo que va del año, Aerolíneas resultó la segunda más puntual del mundo.

Torres Carmona, por su parte, agregó que “con una economía dinámica el pasajero va cambiando. Eso genera algo de incertidumbre pero hace que nuestro trabajo se vaya adaptando y mejore la eficiencia en materia de costos y operatividad”. Explicó que Avianca, que está por cumplir 100 años, se destaca por tecnología y puntualidad.

Murekian hizo foco en la seguridad y señaló que United Airlines está siendo muy competitiva en el mercado de leisure. “Vemos además un auge en lo corporativo, donde se destaca el hub de Houston”. Agregó que la compañía aérea se focaliza, asimismo, en encontrar soluciones a medida de los clientes corporativos.

Por su lado, Santanello apuntó que es fundamental “ser cuidadosos con los costos, escuchar al cliente y estar atento a la tecnología”. Señaló, como ejemplo, que todos los vuelos de AirEuropa brindan Internet a bordo.  El artículo completo puede ser consultado aquí.

El portal destacó, por su parte, la participación en la conferencia del secretario nacional de Desarrollo y Promoción Turística, Alejandro Lastra, a quien dio la bienvenida el travel Manager de Gestión Compartida y Presidente del Capítulo Voluntario de GBTA en Argentina, Horacio Cristaldo, quien agradeció la presencia y el apoyo nacional, mientras que Lastra señaló lo siguiente: “por suerte para el desarrollo de nuestro país se ha incrementado la conectividad aérea, la infraestructura, la inversión hotelera y esto permite planificar de una mejor manera los viajes y generar más oportunidades en materia económica”.

También destacó el trabajo de GBTA e instó a seguir trabajando juntos para generar más crecimiento y más empleo. La nota completa puede ser leída aquí.


Oportunidades de Patrocinio para la Conferencia GBTA 2019 – Ciudad de Mexico

¿Sabia que en la Conferencia GBTA en Ciudad de Mexico, 7 de cada 10 provedores asiste con el objetivo de relacionarse con nuevos proveedores? Haga un impacto como patrocinador.



When Natural Disaster Strikes: Be Prepared and Stay Prepared!

Hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes don’t take travel schedules into consideration. Whether you are close to home or halfway around the world, it is important to always be prepared for when a natural disaster strikes.  

When a natural disaster occurs, infrastructure will be impacted and it can take days (if not weeks) before regular operations begin to stabilize. Businesses may be closed, fallen objects may block roads, air traffic may be halted, and power may be out in your area. Here are ways you can prepare yourself for when an emergency happens, whether close to home or while traveling.

  • Make a plan. Be sure to have an emergency plan in place that includes contact numbers for all family members, as well as an established meeting place should you be separated or unable to return home. Take into consideration needs that are specific to your family like medication, family pets, etc. when creating a plan. If you are traveling, attempt to evacuate in advance of an impending storm if possible. Waiting until the last minute to evacuate can lead to scarce flights options, a shortage of hotel rooms, and a dearth of rental vehicles. If you are unable to evacuate, be aware of the emergency plan at the hotel, meeting room, conference center, etc. and be prepared to follow that plan if necessary.
  • Stay in touch. Know how to quickly get in touch with your colleagues and loved ones and make sure they know how to reach you. Maintain a coordinated communication plan if you are separated and be sure to share plans should you need to move to a new location.  
  • Stay informed. Whether disaster strikes at home or while you are traveling, identify reputable, up-to-date news sources for the latest information. During an emergency, information can change from one minute to the next. Look to local agencies or news outlets for current response plans, closures, or evacuation information.
  • Prepare an emergency kit. Make sure to have a well-stocked emergency supply kit on-hand to accommodate your family for up to three days and don’t forget to prepare a kit for your car, too. If you are traveling and unable to evacuate, stock up on water, nonperishable foods, and basic first aid supplies to keep in your hotel room.

On December 4th, 2018, the GBTA Risk Committee will be hosting a webinar focused on natural disaster preparation and response.  Please join us for additional information and practical strategies you can implement to be prepared and stay prepared when natural disaster strikes.

Podcast: The Current Status of REAL ID – Is Your State Compliant?

This week’s episode of The Business of Travel features a recent GBTA webinar on the REAL ID Act. Steve Yonkers, Director of the REAL ID Program for the Department of Homeland Security, provides an update on the implementation of REAL ID giving you an understanding on what states are still not compliant and what progress is being made, as well as how REAL ID applies to state issued driver’s licenses and ID cards and what alternatives there are for identification at security checkpoints if your state is not compliant.

This episode is presented by the GBTA Government Relations Committee in an effort to keep you up to date as more unfolds on REAL ID and to minimize any disruption for your travelers.



For more information, you can visit the DHS REAL ID website.

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Week in Review

Thai-based hospitality group Minor Hotels has purchased an additional stock in NH Hotels, increasing its holding to 94%, Business Traveller reports. The purchase will enable Minor Hotels to expand in Europe, while also allowing NH Hotels to put down roots in Asia.

Icelandair has signed an agreement to buy budget airline WOW Air for nearly $18 million USD (approximately €15.9 million), Buying Business Travel notes.

According to France24, Airbnb is being sued by French hoteliers for unfair competition. The main trade group for French hotels, The Union of Trades and Industries of the Hotel Industry (UMIH) accuses the home-sharing company of “knowingly violating” certain imposed rules.

What will the election mean for business travel? Regardless of who wins or loses, a change in committee leadership means a change in governing philosophies, ultimately affecting our industry. Here are the main travel-related committees to keep an eye on.  

Birmingham Airport has unveiled a £500m master plan to increase capacity and improve the traveler experience, Buying Business Travel notes. The investment aligns with the airport’s desire to grow traffic by 40% (to 18 million passengers annually) by 2033.

Over the next 20 years, China will account for approximately 19% of the world’s aircraft demand, Business Traveller reports. According to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast, the country is projected to require nearly 7,400 new passenger and freighter aircraft.

Star Alliance is putting virtual reality technology to the test in select lounges, Business Traveller writes. Travelers flying through CDG in Paris and FCO in Rome can try out the virtual reality systems, which may eventually be offered on planes and across lounges globally.

The TSA will begin testing new technology that can screen multiple passengers from up to 25 feet away, Los Angeles Times reports. If the terahertz screening devices pass the initial tests at a TSA facility, they may be further tested at U.S. airports.  

According to IATA’s latest 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast, air traffic could double to 8.2 billion travelers in 2037. The forecast also outlines China, the United States, India, Indonesia and Thailand as the fastest growing aviation markets.

A no-deal Brexit would result in 5 million fewer outbound trips made globally by 2022, Travel Weekly reports. These findings come from a new study by Euromonitor International. They also claim Spain will see the brunt of this, since UK travelers account for nearly 21% of inbound revenues in the country.

Following in Lyft’s footsteps, ride-sharing company Uber has launched a Ride Pass subscription option in select cities, Business Traveller notes.

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport received a new 2.5 million square-foot parking and car rental facility on Wednesday, ABC7 reports. The $242 million facility features 13 car rental agencies, 12 electronic charging stations and “innovative parking guidance technology”.

What Will the Election Mean for Business Travel?

Will the Democrats take the House? Will the Republicans retain control of the Senate? Pollsters have been trying to predict the outcome for months now. As we head into the midterm elections today, if there is anything we learned from following the polls in the 2016 Presidential election, it is that no one really knows what will happen until the results are in.

At GBTA, we are not in the business of predicting elections, but we do want to let you know what impact the election can have on business travel – regardless of who wins or loses today.

Here are three key travel-related committees to keep an eye on:

House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee - Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) is currently serving his third term as Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. As one of the largest committees in Congress, it has broad jurisdiction over all modes of transportation and other aspects of our national infrastructure as well. Shuster is retiring from Congress, meaning the chair of this Committee will change regardless of the election outcome.

If the House flips, the current Democratic ranking member who would become the chair is Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR). Rep. DeFazio was a sponsor of the FASTER Act, which GBTA strongly supported. He does however, support raising the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). GBTA will continue to engage on these important issues as an increase in the PFC could have a significant impact on the bottom line for companies sending business travelers on the road for roughly 40 million business trips a month – most of which involve air travel.

If the Republicans remain in control of the House, there are two contenders in play to take on the chair role: Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO). Past Legislative Summit attendees may remember Rep. Denham as a speaker in 2015. He has done some positive work for business travelers with his efforts around passenger rail legislation. He is facing a tough reelection campaign that he will need to win first if he wants a chance to chair the Committee though. Rep. Graves is also a past Legislative Summit speaker and a longtime champion of business travel making him a two-time GBTA Navigator Award winner. Politico reports that Graves appears to be first-in-line in this contest, but that both Congressmen have expressed a desire to push a major infrastructure package as an early priority in the next Congress.

House Homeland Security CommitteeWith current Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) reaching his term limit, the leadership for the House Homeland Security Committee will also change regardless of whether the House flips or not. It is not completely clear who will take over should the Republicans maintain control, but Mike Rogers (R-AL) is seen as the most likely. 

If the Democrats win the House, ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) would be the next chairman. Thompson has been the top Democrat on the Committee since 2005.

Given the many security items incorporated into the recently passed FAA Reauthorization bill, the Committee will likely focus more attention on TSA oversight issues going forward including workforce and union concerns, whistleblower protections and employee misconduct. Thompson has also shown interest in the growing use of biometric technology and facial recognition by Customs Border Protection and TSA, along with what privacy concerns this technology poses.

Additionally, Politico reported that a Thompson aide has said Democrats want to examine immigration policies that have come out of the Trump Administration including the travel ban, border wall and disaster response.

Senate Commerce CommitteeSen. John Thune (R-SD), current chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, is expected to move to the role of Senate Majority Whip should the Republicans retain control of the Senate.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) is expected to take on the chair role in this case. His priorities on transportation are not yet known. When it comes to aviation, he has spoken out against regulatory policies that make it harder for the airlines to do business out of concern that this typically means if airlines need to cut service, it will be to less-profitable, rural routes like his state. However, he has also been opposed to the airlines’ views on several issues including pulling air traffic control operations from the FAA and supporting language in the FAA Bill that would bar unreasonable change and cancellation fees (this ultimately was not included in the final bill). In other modes of transportation, he has long been a proponent for maintaining Amtrak’s long-distance routes and will likely be a key voice for Amtrak on this front if he becomes chair.

If the Democrats take control of the Senate, the front-runner to chair the Committee is Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are also in the mix. Sen. Kobluchar is another long-time champion of business travel and an inaugural winner of GBTA’s first Navigator Award in 2016.


GBTA will be following the election results closely as they come in Tuesday night and will monitor the changes in committee leadership as that unfolds. Travel has always been a bipartisan issue and we will continue to work closely with leaders on both sides of the aisle to ensure the voice of the business travel industry is heard.

I encourage you to help make our collective voice stronger by attending our Legislative Summit next spring and letting your members of Congress know how important business travel is to our economy.

You can also stay up-to-date on GBTA’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., Brussels and around the world by subscribing to GBTA’s bi-weekly Politics of Travel email from GBTA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Shane Downey.