The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Nancy Tudorache
Nancy Tudorache
Nancy Tudorache's Blog

GBTA Unveils Speaker Lineup for Western Canada Business Travel Symposium in Calgary

GBTA, the voice of the global business travel industry, today unveiled the speaker lineup for its sold-out Western Canada Business Travel Symposium in Calgary on Thursday, October 18.

This event is an evolution of the Energy, Resources & Marine Symposium that has taken place annually in Calgary from 2014 to 2017. Our 2018 symposium will feature keynote speakers and education sessions focusing on business travel, logistics and crew/camp movement, and accommodations within the industry sectors of oil, gas, energy, resources, mining, forestry and agriculture, specific to the western Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan to British Columbia.

Attendees will hear insights on the latest technology trends impacting the Canadian business travel industry, lessons on crafting a comprehensive end-to-end travel program for companies operating crew movements, learn about NDC’s impact on personalization in our industry, and much more. In addition, our symposium will provide an excellent opportunity for travel buyers and suppliers to network with other professionals involved in these specialized industry sectors.

Keynote and Centre Stage Speakers include:

  • Lee Courtney, Founder, DLC Strategic Solutions
  • David Crawford, Vice President, Vancouver Board of Trade
  • Dave Froh, Vice President, Sector Development, Economic Development Saskatchewan
  • Clark Grue, President & CEO, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre
  • Roxanne Israel, Partner, EY Law LLP
  • Sharlene Ketwaroo-Nanoo, Travel Category Manager, Rogers Communications
  • Shelly Lewchuk, Manager, Corporate Travel, Canadian Natural Resources Limited
  • Linda Olsen, TV News Anchor, Global News
  • Jay Richmond, Head of Business Travel Group, Amadeus North America, Inc.

We also have an excellent line-up of Featured Session Speakers that includes:

  • Ashley Allot, Managing Director Canada, Egencia
  • Greg Allworth, Director Enterprise Sales, Chromeriver
  • George Bryan, President, Tropos Consulting
  • Luc Carriere, Production Coordinator, Sulphur Experts Inc.
  • Colleen Fitzpatrick, Chief Commercial Officer, Innfinity
  • Jeff Hamilton, Director, Sales & Business Development, Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  • Darlene Innes, Manager, Employee & Labour Relations Advisory Services, Shaw Communications Inc.
  • Mark Kosikowski, Manager Commercial Distribution, Air Canada
  • Jean-Philippe Lavallee, Founder & CEO, Nomadis
  • Monica McKill, Air & Ground Transportation, Cenovus Energy
  • Michael Nagel, Nomadis
  • Jessica Nunes, Manager, Business Travel and Operations ScotiaBank
  • Ian Race, Senior VP, Corporate Sales & Account Management, Vision Travel Solutions
  • David Roberts, Indirect Tax Manager, Cargill
  • Barbara Stiver, Manager, Client Logistics, Civeo North America

For more information and the full agenda, please visit the symposium website. Press registration is complimentary for accredited media. For media accreditation, please contact Marianne Varkiani at

The Journey of a Dollar

Where Does a Dollar Spent on Canadian Business Travel Go?

Travel equals spending—that much we know. And, for Canada, for every dollar spent on business travel or meeting operations, about $1.12 is returned to their national GDP. But it’s not like going to the bank with a buck and leaving with 12 extra cents. It’s an economic contribution that results in growth for Canada in the form of more jobs, a notable share of local and federal tax revenue, as well as more reasons for the supply chain to evolve or even expand to meet business travel demand.

GBTA and Rockport Analytics surveyed the Canadian business travel market, compiling facts and figures for travel across Canada in 2016, both for individual business purposes and for meetings and conventions. The Economic Impact of the Canadian Business Travel Industry report shows that although the journey of a dollar may end in positive returns, there are patterns to be revealed. Here are some highlights from the report that help paint the picture of the well-travelled Canadian business trip dollar.

The Buck Starts Here

The number of business trips taken in Canada is pretty close to the population of Canada itself—35.1 million journeys in 2016 alone. That’s a 5.7 percent increase from the year prior. And with nine out of 10 of those being taken domestically, it seems like everyone in Canada is traveling. And when they do, they spent an average of $839 CAD per trip. Add a full hundred dollars to that to get total economic impact of the average business trip—that’s $939 back into the Canadian economy per traveller.

Total expenditures in Canada during 2016 were $35.8 billion, for a $40.1 billion overall economic impact—domestic travel, inbound international travel and meetings operations all comprise that figure. Of the aforementioned 31.8 million domestic jaunts, most travellers (almost 15%) come from professional, scientific and technical industries. Construction and healthcare were also at the top of the list. Most travellers were male, and almost half were over the age of 55.

Revenue is coming from non-Canadian travellers, too. U.S. travellers make up the largest share of international inbound business volume; seven out of 10 international travellers in 2016 were from Canada’s neighbor to the south. Overall, almost $4 billion in goods and services – or 14% of total business travel for the year – was spent by international travellers. Long-term, Canada has seen the radius grow, however. In the five years prior to 2016, travellers from Asia and Latin America have increased significantly. While there is no doubt recent trade strife between the US and Canada will pose a risk to Canada’s travel economy, this shift to a more diverse global travel market will provide a lasting boost since the farther away the traveller hails from, the more time and more money they’ll spend in Canada.

Small Bucks, Big Impact

The dollar tends to land in certain geographical concentrations, with nearly two-thirds of travel activity in both Ontario and Quebec. The top five business traveller spots in Canada—Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa and Vancouver—amounted to more than a third of travel volume and almost half of countrywide spending. But, while the dollar might be following a predictable GPS route, the economic benefits transcend these boundaries.

Meetings and conventions made up 37 percent of overall travel, which spurs a major indirect economic impact in addition to the obvious direct-travel related expenditures like transportation, accommodations and food. Conventions mean there are added economic benefits because money is being spent on the venue, A/V capabilities, registration fees and other tangential industries. This type of travel surpassed $6 billion in operations expenditures in 2016, seeing 14 percent growth from the year prior.

A dollar could also mean a job – be it through industry growth to meet traveller demands, higher wages because of increased GDP and more. Business travel supported 573,000 jobs and nearly $25 billion in wages in 2016. An obvious industry that will be positively affected by growth in business travel is hospitality. Air travel and ground transportation will also increase, affecting jobs in those markets, too. The supply chains of these industries see many benefits and boosts as well; in fact, $10.2 billion of the overall GDP impact (about one quarter) comes from this stream. Food distributors, business services, insurance and information technology all grow along with the more directly-tied industries. And tax revenue counts, too. These indirect and induced expenditures total nearly half of the impact on GDP. So, the dollar has the ability to essentially multiply as it makes its way through the lifespan of a business trip.

Industry Trends and Expectations

Canadian business travel will only continue to grow, but it’s important to understand the patterns. On top of the trends mentioned above, seasonal ebbs and flows do exist, and trip volume drops in the summer months as well as December. January, April, October and November were 2016’s busiest travel months. Domestic trips were dominated by “short-haul” trips, or those within 160 kilometers from home, and almost eight in 10 trips by Canadians were done so by car.

These data points only scratch the surface of the survey’s findings. To dive deeper into Canadian business travel waters, download a copy of the report. The full report includes data visualization (charts and graphs), numbers and dollars to further color this story and a comprehensive outlook on Canada’s potential for growth in the area of business travel.

Top Speakers Slated for GBTA's ERM Symposium in Calgary

As the leading voice of the business travel industry in Canada, GBTA is excited to host its third annual Energy, Resources & Marine Symposium | Calgary on October 18, 2016 at the Calgary Downtown Marriott Hotel.

GBTA Canada has long supported our country’s oil, gas, energy & resources sector with our ERM Symposiums.  This year it is even more important for our business travel industry and the Canadian ERM sectors to rally together at this event. We not only face the continued oil and gas downturn damaging business in this sector, but this year’s wildfires of Northern Alberta wreaked further devastation, putting even more strain on business and logistics travel and movement of people.

GBTA Canada’s ERM Symposium will pull together those whose roles incorporate travel policy and management, logistics and security from Canada’s oil, gas, resources, mining and energy companies, together with suppliers who service these companies with a goal of better understanding the impact of this sector and how we can push on and rebuild the health of travel and logistics in this space.

Keynote speakers include:


Brian Jean, MLA, Leader of the Wildrose Party

As an elected leader of the of the Wildrose party and Leader of the Official Opposition and MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin since 2015, Brian Jean, in his home riding of Fort McMurray, understands the key to what makes Alberta the best place to live in the world. He also knows intimately, the devastating impact from the recent Northern Alberta wildfires… the impact on a personal level, provincial level and economic level. Brian will share his personal insights on how the community and nation, pulled together in a time of crisis


Loa Fridfinnson,
 Chief Creative Strategist, Active8 Corporate Relations
Changing times requires fresh perspective and new strategies. Learn to use modern communication techniques to build your personal brand and gain new opportunities within your current role or a future role… create the best Brand of YOU!




Peter Wallis, President and CEO of the Van Horne Institute
Resource development has always been key to Canada’s economic growth and prosperity. In Alberta, we typically think of oil, gas, and bitumen production – all of which are constrained by a lack of pipeline capacity and access to critical markets. In addition to these products, there is also huge mineral production potential in Western Canada and the north. This session will highlight the importance of our resource industries and talk about innovative transportation options under consideration that have the potential to increase trade, drive economic development, and create thousands of jobs

Education sessions will touch on travel management lessons from the fire line, duty of care in the mining sector and taking a traditional travel program into the new millennium. A stellar line-up of featured education session speakers include:

  • Greg Tabak,Director of Business Rental Sales (Alberta),Enterprise Holdings
  • Steven Watters,Executive Director of Operations, Best Western Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre
  • Maria Vallance,Director, Client Strategies and Contract Services, Noralta Lodge Ltd
  • Joel Trudell, Director, Operations,Diversified Transportation Ltd.
  • John Semple, Regional Manager-Alberta for Canadian Base Operations, Albian Aerodrome,Shell Canada
  • Shelly Lewchuk, Manager, Corporate Travel, Canadian Natural Resources Limited
  • Jim Rovers, Senior Vice President, AFIMAC Canada
  • Cody Church, Senior Managing Director and Co-Founder, TriWest Capital Partners
  • Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems

We look forward to delivering critical information to business travel professionals in these sectors and will share our learnings from recent disaster recovery efforts in order to better equip our industry as we move forward and rebuild. Get info on the full agenda and what to expect here.

GBTA Canada Conference Education Sessions Seek to Connect, Inspire and Unite Attendees

Next week, GBTA Conference 2016 Toronto will kick off the largest business travel management event in Canada. GBTA is committed to delivering Canada’s most comprehensive educational and informational business travel management show as we look to connect, inspire and unite travel professionals across North America.

In addition to a stellar line-up of speakers, the conference will feature 14 unparalleled education breakout sessions. The sessions will focus on a variety of topics important to our industry including risk, duty of care, hotel negotiations, ancillary fees, travel policy and more.

Education Session Schedule:

Tuesday, April 18, 2016

10:30 am

11:45 am


Wednesday, April 19, 2016

9 am

1:30 pm

These timely education sessions are designed to focus on the issues and challenges today’s travel management professional faces. Each session is geared towards delivering hands-on learning that will leave attendees with ideas and solutions that they can put into action for their company.

GBTA Unveils Speaker Line-Up for Energy, Resources & Marine Symposium in Calgary

Conference Sessions to Take Deep Dive into Navigating Canada’s Oil, Gas & Energy Sector

GBTA, the leading voice of the business travel industry in Canada, is excited to host its second annual Energy, Resources & Marine (ERM) Symposium in Calgary on October 8, 2015 at the WestJet Campus.

ERM Symposium 2015 Calgary will feature keynote speakers and education sessions focusing on Canada’s oil, gas and energy sector providing attendees insight into this unique sector along with creative ways to build successful travel programs and policies even as Canada deals with an oil and gas crisis. Sessions will focus on the current state of Canada’s oil and gas sector, pricing and politics, buyer and supplier relations, challenges, duty of care and more.

Following a successful, sold-out inaugural ERM Symposium in 2014, we are thrilled to provide ERM Symposium 2015 attendees with a top-notch speaker line-up for insightful discussions on the oil, gas and energy sector as attendees look to manage tough economic times in this sector by keeping business travel alive to drive the economy. The Symposium also provides an excellent opportunity for travel buyers and suppliers to network with other professionals that are involved in energy, resources and marine travel.

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Jeff Gaulin, Vice President, Communications, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) – who will open the symposium discussing the real truth of Canada’s oil & gas sector and our up-to-the minute position in the world oil economy. Jeff will speak to what is different today and what this means to Canada’s 3-P’s: Prices, Pipelines & Politics.
  • W. Brett Wilson, CBC TV’s Dragon’s Den “Dragon Emeritus”, celebrated Entrepreneur & Philanthropist, Co-Founder of FirstEnergy Capital Corp. and Author of Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes, who will speak as our lunch keynote on Redefining Success both personally and professionally, an appropriate topic as we all learn to work and live in today’s volatile oil and gas sector.

A stellar line-up of Featured Session Speakers include:

  • Caroline Comeau, Director of Sales, Canada, IHG
  • Mike Guadagnoli, Assistant Vice President, Business Rental Development, Enterprise Holdings Inc.
  • Steve Hankirk, President, Canadian North
  • Glen Kitteringham, Security and Risk Management Consultant
  • Linda Lee, Executive Assistant & Corporate Travel Coordinator, TransCanada Corporation
  • Shelly Lewchuk, Manager Corporate Travel, Canadian Natural Resources Limited
  • Theresa Lim, Facilities Travel, Manager Corporate Contracts & Reservations, CP Rail
  • Hartmut Mailandt, Business Development Manager, IBS Software Services Americas
  • Kate Moorhead, Project Support Administrator, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Horizon Oil Sands
  • Ramesh Nair, VP and Head of Business – Oil & Gas Logistics, IBS Software Services Americas
  • Brett Nichols, Global Account Manager, Delta Airlines / SkyTeam
  • Ian Race, SVP Sales & Account Management, Vision Travel Solutions
  • Gregg Saretsky, President and CEO of WestJet Airlines
  • John Stepovy, Business Development Manager, Pacific Western
  • John Vawter, VP CWT Energy, Resource & Marine

GBTA’s Canada ERM Taskforce, comprised of Canadian business travel industry experts with specific working knowledge of Canada’s Energy & Resources sector, worked to advise GBTA Canada in crafting the content and presentations for this year’s Symposium. Co-Chaired by GBTA Canada’s Advisory Board members, Shelly Lewchuk of Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Daniele Gadbois of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the ERM Taskforce volunteers included Linda Lee, TransCanada Corporation; Bertram Fernandes, Ledcor; Alex Kocen, ConocoPhillips Canada; and Jackie Cherewyk, Best Western International.

Attendee registration is still available and is complimentary for all travel buyers. For more information and the full agenda, please visit: registration is complimentary for accredited media.

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