The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Daphne Bryant
Daphne Bryant
Daphne Bryant's Blog

The Future of GBTA Education in China

In July of 2014, the GBTA Foundation announced the “Gift of Knowledge” initiative in China to bring industry-leading education to this rapidly growing market. As the world’s largest business travel market, there was a clear need for innovative, comprehensive education for business travel professionals in China. Through a collaborative partnership with a leading Chinese educational institution and visionary leadership from our Gift of Knowledge sponsors, the Foundation worked to deliver on its mission.

In the past twelve months, we have conducted nine workshops with an average of 55 attendees per session in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Chengdu. It has been a highly successful program and one that we were committed to continue. However, forces outside of our control are causing us to put an immediate hold on the future business activities, including the “Gift of Knowledge” initiative in China.

In April, the Chinese government announced it had passed new regulations slated to take effect on January 1, 2017, causing uncertainty for many foreign non-profit organizations operating in the region. We are currently awaiting further guidance on how to meet these requirements along with other organizations who will be impacted.

There is no grace period allowed for meeting the new requirements, which include needing to rent local office space, receiving pre-approval for business activities and formally partnering with a Chinese organization.

Until the new operating requirements are fully understood, we are unable to make commitments for our future education programs in China. We hope to be able to continue in the future, but until we receive further guidance on how to operate within the new regulations, we will delay further efforts.

We look forward to the Chinese government providing guidance concerning these new regulations as soon as possible, so that we can resume operations in China. We will keep working toward this effort in hopes that we will find a resolution and can continue producing quality education programming to continue to elevate the business travel profession in China.

GBTA Foundation Continues to Deliver Quality Education for Travel Professionals Across Latin America

The GBTA Foundation just wrapped up the successful delivery of its Fundamentals of Business Travel Management course at the Belo Horizonte Othon Palace Hotel in Brazil. The event was made possible by the support of GOL Airlines. As part of an innovative and comprehensive program to further develop the travel management profession in Latin America, the Fundamentals course is designed as a guide to cover the key facets of managed travel.


The Fundamentals curriculum includes a full range of basics – safety, policy, trends, performance and more. Participants in this course gain a career boost and a better understanding of business travel management. Specific topics addressed included an overview of travel management, travel technology and managing the relationship with suppliers. Nearly 20 participants engaged in sharing best practices for travel management finding it a productive and informative day that also allowed them to build their networks with others on both the buyer and supplier side.


GBTA was pleased to welcome many participants from the Travel Managers Group of Minas Gerais State (GVMG) – an industry group that has been very active in supporting our last two GBTA Conferences in Brazil as well.

Photo Courtesy of GVMG

Photo Courtesy of GVMG

Education is a key component of the GBTA Foundation’s efforts to help boost the business travel profession in Latin America. We are excited to be able to offer another Fundamentals course next month in Curitiba on December 12. Due to high demand, we are working with our sponsor GOL Airlines to schedule two more Fundamentals courses in the first half of 2017 in Goiania and Fortaleza. Stay tuned for more info!

GBTA Kicks Off 2016 Gift of Knowledge Programs in Shanghai and Beijing

First announced in 2014, The Gift of Knowledge Initiative was created to implement an innovative and comprehensive program to further develop the travel management profession in China. In 2015, more than 200 individuals were able to participate in the inaugural delivery of workshops in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen bringing travel professionals together to discuss timely topics as well as opportunities and challenges in the industry.


Last week, GBTA released its latest forecast showing China overtook the United States as the world’s largest business travel market. China edged past the United States in total business travel spending at the end of 2015 by a billion U.S. dollars. According to the forecast, China will soar ahead in 2016 with business travel spend forecast to grow 10.1 percent to $320.7 billion USD, compared to 1.9 percent growth in the United States and $295.7 billion USD in total business travel spend. This marks a monumental shift in the industry and demonstrates how important the need is for holistic education and training for travel management professionals in this region of unprecedented growth and demand.


This morning kicked off the GBTA Foundation’s 2016 Gift of Knowledge programming in Shanghai with a workshop at The Westin Bund Center. Attendees were treated to engaging discussions with industry leaders and networking opportunities with fellow travel professionals. Topics included an introduction to risk management, risk management programs for ground transportation in China, an introduction to the latest in travel management technology and how to determine the right technology for your travel management program.


This Friday will feature a similar workshop in Beijing. We look forward to continue delivering on the promise of providing leading education for Chinese business travel professionals. None of this could be possible without the support of our Gift of Knowledge Partners including: DTG, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, United, Ctrip Corporate Travel, InterContinental Hotels Group, Wyndham Hotel Group, Star Alliance and Marriott. Stay tuned for info on upcoming sessions.

Enhancing the GLP Program

The Global Leadership Professional® (GLP) program has been a hallmark of the GBTA Academy for 15 years. The GLP Program is the only masters-level course for travel professionals and it uses an interdisciplinary approach that addresses both the opportunities and challenges of conducting business in today’s environment. Since its beginning, we have seen more than 280 travel professionals complete the Certificate of Professional Development (CPD), and another 100-plus achieve the industry’s highest designation, the GLP.

GLP logo

This week we are announcing several new enhancements to the GLP program based on feedback from our members. Over the years, we have modified and expanded the program to meet the demands of our industry and the changing needs of our members. We continue to survey our members, and in particular our GLP participants, to ensure we are delivering the highest value possible.

Our goal with these enhancements is to continue to deliver the highest level of professional development, while being sensitive to the ever-increasing demands on your personal and professional time and budget.

The primary change is the replacement of the 5-day GLP course with an additional 2-day session. We have worked closely with the Wharton faculty and administration to incorporate the key content from the 5-day session into four 2-day courses, along with deep dives in specific topic areas.

Beginning this year, requirements to receive the Certificate of Professional Development, issued by The Wharton School and GBTA Academy, will be the completion of four 2-day courses, covering the four competencies of finance, marketing, management and leadership. If you have already completed a 5-day course, however, you may count that as one of the four courses required.

I am also pleased to unveil our 2016 schedule:

Through the survey results, you have asked us to deliver the same value and experience you have come to expect from the GLP program at a more affordable price and in a way that means you spend less time out of the office. This change delivers just that.

Under the new pricing structure, 2015 pricing at $1,000 per 2-day course will be available through May 2. After that date, the price for each 2-day course will be $1,150.

GLP Savings
Additionally, the delivery of the GLP Designation will move to an every other year delivery. This will allow the proper time for members to complete the CPD and then be prepared to begin their GLP Designation. The next GLP Designation cohort is scheduled to begin in 2017.

We are excited about these changes and are confident it will allow us to continue to deliver you the high level of professional development you have come to expect from the GLP program. Our goal is to deliver dynamic training and education to industry professionals and elevate the future of the business travel profession. I look forward to seeing you in a GLP session or two this year!

GBTA Foundation Delivers First Gift of Knowledge Workshops in Shanghai and Beijing

By GBTA Foundation

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.

Gift of Knowledge Newsletter Banner

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.

GBTA and The Wharton School Celebrate 15 Years of GLP Program

I am pleased to announce GBTA has again renewed its partnership with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to deliver the Global Leadership Professional® (GLP) Program. This marks 15 years of delivering this program to business travel professionals and there is truly nothing else like it in the industry.

GLP logo

The only masters-level course for travel professionals, the GLP has a strategic curriculum that uses an interdisciplinary approach to address both the opportunities and challenges of conducting business in today’s environment.

“We look forward to continuing our efforts with GBTA on the prestigious GLP program as we wrap up 15 years,” said Joseph Ryan, PhD, Learning Director, Executive Education, The Wharton School. “What sets this program apart is the enormous intellectual energy participants bring to linking current best practices to live issues they face in the real world.”

Don’t just listen to us though. This is what some of our past and current participants have to say about the program:

“Amazing experience. I feel very privileged to have participated.”
– Paul Ruiz, District Sales Manager – West Region, Delta Air Lines


“I find it hard to put onto paper how the GLP Program has helped me and my career. Let it suffice to say that this program has been worthwhile mainly due to the quality of the professors. The caliber of their teaching amazed me; some of the driest subjects were taught with panache and were made memorable. The topics covered, were made understandable and applicable to my everyday life. The GLP classes have helped me move from a task-handler to a strategic thinker. By understanding how senior management looks at various functions, I am able to better prepare for them. Keep up the good work.”
-Mary Alice Hansen, CCTE, GLP, GTP, Manager, Travel – Expense, Astellas US LLC


“The content, presentation, and examples of application were fantastic. The material was so interesting and I walk away with a great perspective on so many things that I am exposed to daily. The class was highly engaging as well.”
-Joanne McNeillis Coelho, GTP, Global Travel Manager, Wyndham Worldwide


Stay tuned for more information on upcoming sessions and schedules as we get ready to kick off our 16th year of GLP!