The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

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

GBTA Announces WINiT Strategic Advisory Board

*The following post was originally sent as a member email to GBTA and WINiT members.*

At Convention this August, I had the pleasure of announcing GBTA’s acquisition of WINiT, a career development network aimed at increasing visibility and advancement for women in the travel, meetings, events and exhibition industries. This move further strengthened our ongoing commitment to support women in the travel industry.

Today, I am thrilled to announce a key milestone in the post-acquisition integration process: the formation of the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board. This Advisory Board brings together a remarkable and diverse group of travel industry leaders to help expand WINiT’s mission globally. Both GBTA and former WINiT leadership are represented on this board to help foster consistency and innovation within WINiT as it evolves and grows.

The Advisory Board will provide strategic guidance and direction for the future of WINiT as a GBTA Board of Directors initiative. The members of the Advisory Board include:

  • Chair – Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President & CMO, Best Western® Hotels & Resort

  • Vice Chair – Michelle ‘Mick’ Lee, Founder, WINiT, Managing Director, Arrow 212

  • Delores Alexander, Vice President, Indirect Supply Chain, Boeing

  • Jodi Allen, Executive Vice President & CMO, Hertz

  • Michele Bryant, Global Chief Procurement Officer, Deloitte

  • Amanda Cecil, PhD, CMP, Senior Vice President, Professional Development and Research, GBTA

  • Mary Ellen George, Head of North America, Tramada Systems

  • Christle Johnson, Vice President, Travel & Business Services, Johnson Downie, LLC; President, GBTA

  • Beth Kinerk, Senior Vice President, Avis Budget Group

  • Melissa Maher, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc.

  • Michael W. McCormick, Executive Director and COO, GBTA

  • Traci Mercer, Senior Vice President, Lodging, Ground and Sea, Sabre Travel Network

  • Malaika Myers, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hyatt Hotel Corporation

  • Becca Rabinowitz, Head of SpotHero for Business

  • Dawn Repoli, Vice President, Program Development, GBTA’s WINiT Business Unit

  • Kristen Shovlin, Vice President, Sales Operations & Development, Delta Airlines

  • Scott Solombrino, President and CEO, Dav El / Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network; President, GBTA Allied Leadership Council

The first in-person meeting of the Advisory Board is scheduled for November. The GBTA and WINiT teams, now in collaboration with the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board, are working diligently to finalize a strategic plan and path forward that leverages the synergies and unique attributes of both organizations for the benefit of GBTA and WINiT members. Additional announcements will be coming in November, along with the integration of select WINiT programming into GBTA Conference 2018 Berlin in partnership with VDR – Europe’s largest business travel conference.

On a closing note, today marks the 6th annual United Nations International Day of the Girl, a day dedicated to galvanizing worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate this day than taking this next step in our efforts to grow WINiT’s mission globally as we further affirm our commitment to support the lives and success of women around the world.

Exciting times are on the horizon for GBTA, WINiT and the entire travel industry as we come together to drive change and advocacy for women. I look forward to sharing this incredible journey with all of you.

Podcast: ECPAT’s Efforts to Eliminate Child Trafficking

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel talks with Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement for ECPAT-USA about ways the travel industry can help put an end to child trafficking. Michelle also discussed the importance of urging Congress to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.



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!

Week in Review

Another Friday, another Week in Review post to keep you updated on the latest business travel news.

According to Buying Business Travel, a new app for disabled train passengers is currently in development. The app will track passengers throughout their journey, making it easy for staff to know when and where to meet them for assistance. Currently, passengers must book assistance, and staff are given a print-out of requests every morning.  

A new survey reveals 77% of airports and 71% of airlines are either researching biometrics or planning to implement programs to identify travelers using facial recognition or other biometric means, Business Traveller reports.

The United States and Australia will launch a pilot program that allows Australian citizens to apply for Global Entry, Big Island Now writes. The Global Entry program allows for expedited customs clearance for pre-screened travelers.

In other airport news, Milan Linate Airport will close for three months next summer due to runway and terminal building renovations, Business Traveller writes.

The same source notes that Austria’s Salzburg Airport will also close in 2019 in order to refurbish its 60-year-old runway. The airport will close from April 24 to May 28.

According to The Washington Post, the Senate on Wednesday approved H.R. 302, a bill that provides long-term funding for the FAA and prohibits voice calls on planes, among other things. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee states that the President will sign the bill during a 2:45pm signing ceremony on Friday.

Budget airline Primera Air officially ceased operations on Tuesday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded, Reuters notes.

This week, our podcast highlights a recent webinar called Solving Real Enterprise Problems Through AI. AppZen’s Ryan Floersch looks at how AI is empowering managers to take control of team spend at a field level.

According to, Avis Budget Group acquired a car rental company in Portugal called Turiscar Group, adding nearly 3,000 vehicles to its network.

Also in acquisition news, Xenia Hotels & Resorts acquired Fairmont Pittsburgh in a $30 million deal, TravelDailyNews International reports.

According to Buying Business Travel, Delta Air Lines plans to launch personalized corporate sites that will allow business travelers to view the benefits included in their company’s sales agreement.

Podcast: Solving Real Enterprise Problems Through AI

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel previews GBTA webinar content airing a recent session called Solving Real Enterprise Problems Through AI. Ryan Floersch from AppZen digs deeper into how and why these cultural shifts are forming. He will look at how AI is empowering managers to take control of team spend at a field level, giving them the ability to correct bad behavior and  improve their teams’ expense habits over time while avoiding unwanted ‘big brother’ conversations between managers and employees that only damage relationships and morale.



GBTA offers frequent webinars on a whole spectrum of topics covering the business travel industry. These timely and relevant presentations on issues impacting our industry are also interactive, allowing you to submit questions throughout and receive immediate feedback from the presenters.

Check out our calendar of upcoming webinars to see what’s coming soon. For GBTA members, if you miss out and can’t attend a session you are interested in, you can also access all of our archived webinars on the GBTA Hub.


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!

Global Travel Pricing in 2019

What will pricing for air, hotel and ground transportation look like in the year ahead? According to GBTA research, travel prices are expected to rise sharply in 2019, with hotels going up 3.7% and flights 2.6%, driven by a growing global economy and rising oil prices. Carlson Wagonlit Travel's Christophe Renard and GBTA Economist Jon Gray recently joined GBTA Executive Director & COO Mike McCormick to discuss shifts in global travel pricing in addition to the trends shaping the future of the industry. Read more highlights from the forecast here.

Newsletter: GBTA América Latina Octubre 2018

Conferencia de GBTA en Río de Janeiro presentó las nuevas tendencias e innovaciones en el mercado corporativo

La sexta edición de La Conferencia GBTA Río de Janeiro, realizada el pasado 17 de setiembre en el Prodigy Santos Dumont, sirvió para afianzar el evento en el calendario oficial de eventos de la ciudad.

Con un contenido académico sobre tendencias e innovaciones en el mercado de viajes corporativos, presentado por líderes de la industria, el evento brindó a los participantes temas de agrado general, que marcan la nueva línea de contenido de GBTA a nivel global.

Fabio Camargo, director de Delta Airlines en Brasil, abrió el evento hablando sobre los mercados latinoamericano y global a partir de la perspectiva de una línea aérea norteamericana.

Seguidamente, Wellington Costa, director regional de GBTA Brasil, moderó el panel “Veloces y furiosas: las tendencias de movilidad corporativa”, que contó con panelistas como Fernando Cavalheiro, director de CEP Transportes; Robson Oliveira, gerente estratégico para América Latina y el Caribe de Enterprise; y Marcelo Godoy, gerente comercial de Triple M/Logicpax, los cuales hablaron sobre los desafíos que presentan los transportes terrestres en las grandes ciudades brasileñas.

El evento tuvo también conferencias de muy alto nivel el resto del dia, que representaron a más de 20 de los principales actores de la industria de viajes corporativos y tuvieron alrededor de 200 participantes.


Extensión del viaje de negocios para tiempo de ocio o bleisure es mayor en millennials

Un estudio conducido por GBTA en alianza con Hilton Hotels & Resorts y basado en una encuesta a 675 viajeros de negocio norteamericanos sobre sus experiencias en “viajes de bleisure” (la extensión de viajes de trabajo para ocio) mostró que los millennials toman estos viajes a una tasa más alta (48%) que los de la Gen-X (33%) y los Baby Boomers (23%).

El pasado año, la razón más común para no extender los viajes de negocio para ocio era la falta de tiempo (58%). Razones menos comunes fueron: políticas de empresa (18%), sítios no deseables (17%) y costos (14%).

El pasado año, la Fundación GBTA lanzó un informe que encontró que el 36% de los viajeros de negocios de Estados Unidos habían extendido para ocio al menos un viaje el pasado año. Esta práctica, llamada bleisure, ha permanecido como un tema caliente y refleja el crecimiento de los viajeros de negocio millennials.

También refleja un aumento en la inversión de las compañías en el bienestar de sus colaboradores, las cuales además de facilidades como gimnasios, áreas de recreo y juegos, también brindan en algunos casos más tiempo libre; contexto en el cual los colaboradores pueden tener más flexibilidad para tomar viajes de bleisure. 

Un estudio lanzado el pasado año por el CWT Institute encontró que los viajeros jóvenes de negocio, con edades entre los 20 y 25 años, toman viajes de bleisure dos veces más que la tasa global de viajeros de negocio.

Miembros de GBTA pueden ver el estudio completo aquí


GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report and Forecast 2018 muestra crecimiento en viajes de negocios a nivel global y latinoamericano

El gasto en viajes de negocio totalizó $1.33 billones en 2017. Esto incluye viajes individuales y grupales, reuniones de negocios, servicio al cliente, desarrollo profesional, reuniones internas de empresas y control de calidad y operaciones.

La actividad medida incluye también gastos rembolsables y no reembolsables por parte de viajeros de negocio en bienes y servicios como hoteles, transporte aéreo y terrestre, restaurantes y entretenimiento.

Week in Review

Airbnb wants to give its host the opportunity to own a piece of the company, TechCrunch reports. The home-sharing company is attempting to change the SEC’s Rule 701, which governs ownership of equity in companies.

The UK government warns of flight disruptions in the case of a no-deal Brexit, Skift writes. If the EU doesn’t grant reciprocal approvals to its planes and airlines, flights may be grounded.

According to CNN, Hong Kong launched a new high-speed rail link to mainland China on Sunday. The $10.75 billion dollar project is controversial because it allows mainland immigration officers to enforce Chinese law on Hong Kong soil.

In other high-speed rail news, Al Jazeera notes Saudi Arabia launched a high-speed railway on Tuesday that connects holy cities Mecca and Medina.

According to USA TODAY, Southwest Airlines has begun rolling out complimentary in-flight messaging on select flights.

On this week’s podcast, we talk business travel payment trends. Airplus’ Kathy Cantwell and GBTA Senior Research Analyst Mark Sharoff talk through key highlights from a recent payments study and discuss the future of virtual payments.

Uber has been fined $148 million due to a cyberattack that exposed the data of millions of customers and drivers, Buying Business writes.

On Wednesday, the House passed a five-year FAA reauthorization bill, WTOP notes. Among other things, the bill prohibits voice calls on planes, states that only passengers enrolled in trusted traveler programs can use PreCheck lanes, and does not increase the passenger facility charge (PFC).

Grow your network with GBTA Ladders! This unique team mentor program affords members the opportunity to expand their professional development and to gain lifelong friends. Don’t miss out on your chance to get involved. Submit your application by September 28.

Japan Airlines plans on flying a nonstop service from Seattle to Tokyo, USA TODAY reports.

Another day, another pilot strike for Ryanair. The airline canceled nearly 100 flights on Friday after German pilots announced a strike at the last minute, Buying Business Travel writes.

According to Skift, Singapore Airlines is one step closer to launching the world’s longest flight, a non-stop service to New York that totals nearly 19 hours.

Grow Your Network with GBTA Ladders

Today is your last day to submit an application to become a mentee for the 2018-2019 season of Ladders.

GBTA Ladders lets you take the next step in your career. It’s a unique team mentor program that combines the right talent, a fresh vision and exclusive mentorship to help you develop your career and climb to the top. It affords members an opportunity to not only expand your professional development within the travel and meetings industry, but to also gain true lifelong colleagues & friends.

The winning team from our 2017-2018 season joined us at the GBTA Broadcast Studio at Convention this year to share their experiences with the program and talk about why others should get involved. It is a great opportunity to expand your network and expand your influence within the industry.

Don’t miss out on your chance to get involved. To be considered, fill out the application today, September 28. For more information, please contact

5 Tips to Eat Like a Local on Your Next Business Trip

In recent GBTA research, conducted in partnership with Dinova, digging into business travel dining trends, we delved into the psyche of the business diner. The typical business travel dining experience really depends on the trip. The study found that in total, 64 percent of business travelers take their money to upscale casual restaurants, followed by fast casual (52 percent), fast food (34 percent) and finally, fine dining (29 percent).

Many business travelers tend to spend their meals in the company of others. For lunch, 30 percent report eating with clients, with an additional 23 percent eating with coworkers, and the numbers jump to 40 percent and 26 percent, respectively, for dinner.

During a recent Twitter chat, many of our participants shared their desire to eat like a local while traveling and gave us their best tips for doing so. Here were the top five:

1 - Ask cab or car drivers about spots where they would take their families to eat – not where they tell other travelers to go.

2 - Search “best places to eat in ____” as a start. Use websites like Thrillist to find the best spots to eat. 

3 - Ask people in the hotel about the places they actually eat at. 

4 - If meeting with a client, ask them about the best local place.

5 - Ask friends in the area.

Learn more about the study findings here, and be sure to check out this recent guest blog post from Dinova on incorporating a dining program into your managed travel program.