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GBTA Urges EU Institutions to Effectively Deal with Price Transparency in Aviation
GBTA welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the on-going policy debate on the EU aviation market, launched by the European Commission in the context of its evaluation of European rules governing competition in the internal aviation market.
On 7 June, GBTA submitted its answers to the public consultation launched by the European Commission in this context, and highlighted key issues to be addressed, in particular the need for fair and transparent ticket price policies to be implemented for the benefit of business travelers and the companies they work for.
GBTA stressed that several disruptive practices by airlines, such as unilateral decisions to impose surcharges on bookings made through Global Distribution Systems (GDSs), the increased use of loyalty programmes to outreach directly to travelers and price discrimination on the basis of a traveler’s residence, result in costs increases for business travelers and disruptions in corporate travel management.
Given its contribution to the European Commission’s public consultation, GBTA looks forward to the results of this consultation, and is ready to continue to cooperate with the European Commission on evaluating the benefits and challenges to address in the aviation market in order to ensure that business travelers’ specific concerns are taken into account in any future revision of EU rules.
The Clock is Ticking: GBTA Reiterates Call to EU and UK Brexit Negotiators to Agree on Withdrawal Issues and Quickly Start Discussing Future Relationship & Aviation
A few months ago, GBTA commented positively on progress achieved at the March 2018 meeting, where a way forward was finally found on Withdrawal issues, namely Citizens’ rights, the Northern Ireland border and the financial settlement. GBTA also positively welcomed the agreement found on the length of transition period, which provided some reassurance to businesses and their business travelers.
However, looking at the way negotiations have unfolded since then, GBTA’s hope that decision makers will make good progress and start negotiating the EU-UK future trade deal is fading. Despite what was announced this March, and as demonstrated by the Joint EU-UK Statement assessing the progress of negotiations published on 19 June, only minor achievements have been made and Northern Ireland continues to be a sticking point, preventing the EU and UK negotiators from moving forward on trade and aviation issues.
This has created a highly uncertain situation for business travel, and uncertainty is never good for business. Therefore, in advance of the 28-29 June EU Summit, the business travel industry calls upon European institutions to carefully consider the implications of this uncertainty for businesses and commit to rapidly opening up negotiations on the future EU-UK trade deal as well as on the future EU-UK future aviation deal.
A seamless transition towards a sound aviation deal is crucial for the economy, businesses and the business travel industry. Prospects of Brexit for aviation are alarming: obstacles for UK airlines to operate in the EU and with the rest of the world, reduced connectivity and travel choices as well as risks to travel safety and security if the UK leaves the European Agency for Aviation Safety. The practical effect of a failure to reach an agreement would be the immediate suspension of flights between the UK and the European Union.
The EU and UK economies cannot afford a no deal. Neither can businesses nor business travelers. This is why GBTA remains committed to being involved every step of the way to advocate for the best interests of our industry.
For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel highlights round two of GBTA’s Innovation Series in Partnership with Phocuswright. You’ll hear from Gaest, Waylo, and GermFalcon as they deliver their six-minute pitches on why they deserve to be named the “Best Innovator in Business Travel” at GBTA Convention 2018.
You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING
Election of Directors;
Absentee Ballot Request Instructions and Timelines
Notice of Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), Inc. ("GBTA") will be held on August 13, 2018, at 10:30am in San Diego, California at the San Diego Convention Center on Center Stage in Ballroom 20.
Election of Directors
Once again, it is time to choose new leadership for GBTA. In preparation for the upcoming voting opportunities, please take a moment to review the election materials and platform statements in the Board of Directors Election Brochure 2018.
If you are a GBTA Direct or Allied Member, you may vote in this election either at the GBTA Annual Convention or by absentee ballot (instructions below).
At Convention 2018, elections with voting by electronic means will be open starting on Monday, August 13 at 11:30am PT until Tuesday, August 14 at 6pm PT at the GBTA Convention at the San Diego Convention Center. Results of the elections will be announced at Convention Arena on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. Individuals must be Direct or Allied members of GBTA to be eligible to vote. In the United States, if you are a community member in an Affiliate or Chapter, but not a global member, you will not be eligible to vote. Please note that to vote onsite, individuals must also be registered for Convention by July 31, 2018.
The open Board positions in the 2018 Election are as follows:
Three (3) Direct Members at Large for a term of three years
One (1) Allied Member at Large for a term of two years
If you are unable to attend GBTA Convention 2018 and vote in person, you may request an absentee ballot.
You will receive information on how to request an absentee ballot on June 28 and you have until July 13 to request an absentee ballot. The ballot will contain necessary information for the Election of Directors.
Absentee ballots will be submitted electronically and must be received by August 6, 2018, which is five days prior to the start of Convention. Instructions for submission and completion will be included on the ballot. We thank you in advance for your participation in shaping the future of GBTA.
Review of Critical Dates:
June 28 - Absentee Ballots Available
July 13 - Absentee Ballot Request Deadline
July 31 - Deadline to Register for Convention if Planning to Vote Onsite
August 6 - Absentee Ballots Due to GBTA
August 13 - Annual Business Meeting
August 13 - Voting Opens Onsite at Convention
August 14 - Voting Closes
August 15 - Election Results Announced
GBTA Projects Future Impact on U.S. Economy and Business Travel
Today, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold President Trump’s travel ban. So, what does this mean for the future of the travel industry? It cannot be denied that the cumulative impact of the travel bans over the past 18 months has been felt by our industry. The initial reaction alone to the first travel ban issued by the Administration was swift and strong – more than $185 million in business travel bookings were lost in one week.
As the second and then third executive orders on travel were narrowed, it lessened the impact, confusion and outcries, but the effect on business travel and the U.S. economy remains. In a poll of GBTA members last week, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of U.S. travel buyers reported that the Administration’s executive orders on travel have driven at least some level of reduction in their company’s travel. Additionally, 37 percent expect some level of reduction going forward because of today’s ruling to uphold the ban.
More than half (52 percent) of U.S. travel buyers also reported concerns of increased traveler harassment in general due to this Administration’s policies and messaging on travel and immigration, while 40 percent worry about a reduction in business travel to the United States. When asked about the lasting impact, U.S. buyers cited the potential for countries to respond, making travel more difficult for U.S. travelers (64 percent), complications in travel to the United States (56 percent), increased threats against U.S. travelers abroad (51 percent) and cancelled projects/contracts between U.S. and foreign companies (36 percent).
Perhaps most strikingly, 62 percent of U.S. buyers believe this Administration is having a negative impact on business travel. For every one percent decrease in business travel spending, the U.S. economy loses 74,000 jobs, $5.5 billion in GDP, $3.3 billion in wages and $1.3 billion in taxes.
GBTA also polled its European members, revealing that 31 percent of European travel buyers report that the Administration’s executive orders on travel have driven at least some level of reduction in their company’s travel. Additionally, 38 percent of European travel buyers say their willingness to plan meetings and events in the United States has decreased because of the Administration’s executive orders and a similar number (39 percent) say the Administration’s policies and messaging on travel and immigration have negatively impacted their company’s willingness to plan meetings and events in the United States.
The numbers clearly show there has been - and there will continue to be - an impact.
GBTA is deeply concerned about the long-term impact of these survey results, and the global perception of doing business with the United States. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and as the United States changes its policies about inbound travel, others are likely to do the same.
Business planning in an environment with turmoil and unpredictable change is difficult. Business leaders would much rather have certainty and predictability so that they can allocate capital and plan business appropriately for the long term. When policies are introduced without consulting stakeholders and presented without warning, it causes damage to the United States as a destination for foreign travel. However, it is not irreparable. The U.S. economy remains strong and is an attractive place for business.
Security is, of course, of the utmost importance. We can work to ensure safe and secure travel through other proven security measures including continued expansion of the Visa Waiver Program, the implementation of additional trusted traveler reciprocal agreements with countries where possible and encouraging relevant agencies to find more areas of cooperation to pool resources and intelligence.
Congress can work closer together in a bi-partisan fashion to encourage the White House to implement appropriate policies that impact travelers and businesses alike. Our shared mission is to implement policies going forward that preserve both our national security and our economy for the future.
It is time once again to make your voice heard in choosing new leadership positions for GBTA. Please take a moment to review the election materials and platform statements in the Board of Directors Election Brochure 2018.
This August, during GBTA’s annual Convention in San Diego, all Direct and Allied members will have the opportunity to take part in our election process. The open positions on this year’s ballot include three Direct Member at Large seats and one Allied Member at Large seat. In this online brochure, you will find information and platform statements from all of our participating candidates. I encourage you to take some time to review the information and get to know your candidates, so you can make an informed choice when you cast your vote.
On Monday, August 13, during the Annual Business Meeting at Convention, each candidate will deliver their campaign speech. You will be able to cast your vote for the next leadership electronically Monday, August 13 through Tuesday, August 14. In order to vote, you must be a current Allied or Direct Member of the Association. To vote onsite, you must also be registered for Convention by July 31, 2018. If you have questions about your membership status, please check with GBTA’s Member Care Team at firstname.lastname@example.org before July 31.
The GBTA Board of Directors serves as the governing body of the Association and is responsible for establishing the focus and direction of the Association. This is your opportunity to vote for the candidates you believe will best lead our organization, so I strongly encourage you to participate in the GBTA electoral process.
Our Association’s continued success is driven by the dedication of many member volunteers. Keep our Association strong by being an active participant and cast your vote this August 13th and 14th at Convention or via an absentee ballot by August 6th! More info on absentee ballots will be coming soon.
Project-based business travel spending reached $45.4 billion in 2017, comprising 15 percent of all U.S. business travel spending, Hotel Management reports. The findings come from a new GBTA study in partnership with InterContinental Hotels Group.
American and United are pushing back on the Trump administration, Skift reports. The airlines have requested that their flights not be used to fly immigrant children who are being separated from their families.
According to TravelDailyNews International, an alarming amount of air traffic control strikes across Europe have taken place this year impacting millions of travelers and the region’s overall economy.
A Swedish real estate investment firm has acquired a portfolio of seven German hotels from Fico Group, 4Hoteliers notes.
On the ground transportation front, Business Today reports a new high-speed rail link between Delhi and Rajasthan has received approval. The project will cost approximately $3.68 billion USD, or Rs.25,000 crore.
In that same vein, Global Indonesian Voices notes preparations are underway for a high-speed rail project that would connect Jakarta and Surabaya. The line would shorten the travel time between the two cities in Indonesia to just five hours.
According to USA TODAY, Orlando’s MCO will become the first airport in the country to process all arriving and departing passengers with facial-recognition technology.
The same source reports fliers in the U.S. will face scrutiny for having powders in their carry-on bags. The TSA will be focusing on containers with at least 350 milliliters of powder, which is about equal to a can of soda.
Rail journeys have fallen for the first time in eight years in the UK, according to Buying Business Travel and findings from the Office of Rail and Road. This is the largest annual decrease since 1993-4.
On this week’s episode of The Business of Travel, we highlight our Innovation Series in partnership with Phocuswright. Hear Tripgrid, lumo, and Stay22 deliver six-minute pitches on why they deserve to be named the top innovator in business travel.
Business travel is ahead of other industries on payment tech, Associations Now reports. A new GBTA study, conducted in partnership with AirPlus International, also finds that 56 percent of U.S. travel agents use central travel accounts (CTAs), ghost accounts or lodge cards that can be used by multiple employees.
According to USA TODAY, Amtrak has revamped its food and beverage menu and introduced a host of new items, including gluten-free options.
Lyft has introduced a feature that makes it easier to track business travel expenses, TechCrunch notes. The new feature allows for a connection between employee trips and the managers in charge of their reimbursement.
JetBlue founder David Neeleman is raising funds for a new U.S. airline called Moxy Airways, Skift writes. The airline has already secured orders for 60 Bombardier CS300 aircraft to arrive in 2020 and is aiming to start service that same year.
As we inch closer to our upcoming 50th anniversary of GBTA Convention, we continue to look back and celebrate our history through a series of weekly posts.
Nearly eight years ago, the 2010 NBTA International Convention & Exposition was held in Houston, known for its horrendously hot weather in the summer months. In the video below, former GBTA Executive VP Hank Roeder jokes that the Houston Ice Fishing Team would like to invite attendees to the event. As it turns out, we ended up confusing several legitimate ice fishing teams who didn't realize the video is a joke.
Luckily, the weather in San Diego is slightly more forgiving, and we look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion with all our attendees this summer.
Visit the GBTA Blog every Thursday for more throwback posts! Interested in submitting a Convention memory for a chance to be featured at #GBTA2018 in San Diego? Here’s how. You can also share your Convention memories with us on Twitter using #TBT and tagging @GlobalBTA.
For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel, highlights GBTA’s Innovation Series in Partnership with Phocuswright. You’ll hear from the first three finalists in our online competition on the road to being named the “Best Innovator in Business Travel” at GBTA Convention 2018.
Hear Tripgrid, lumo and Stay22 all deliver their six-minute pitches on why they deserve to be named the top innovator.
Back when GBTA was still known as the National Business Travel Association (NBTA), we collaborated with The New Yorker to highlight a series of cartoons pertaining to corporate travel. Below are a couple cartoons from The Lighter Side of Business Travel. See more cartoons here.