The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Week in Review

When the Boeing 707 entered the aviation world in 1958, the seat pitch measured at 34 inches. Today, that measurement varies widely depending on the airline and distance being travelled. The Telegraph shares varying statistics on legroom, including the best and worst airlines for legroom and seat widths today compared to 30 years ago.

In anticipation of Brexit, the United Kingdom is planning on hiring 1,000 new Border Force staff “to make sure that every area is made secure”, Business Traveller reports.

Delta Air Lines and Korean Air have received clearance to launch their transpacific joint venture, Buying Business Travel reports.

Qantas made history this week, with the launch of a 17-hour direct flight from Australia to London, USA TODAY reports.

Following in Marriott’s footsteps, Hilton is cutting the commissions it pays to third-party group and meetings planners at hotels in the U.S. and Canada, HotelMarketing’com reports.

According to Bloomberg, Qantas plans to expand its schedule of ultra-long-haul routes and is evaluating the addition of a direct flight from Australia to Chicago.

On the latest episode of our The Business of Travel podcast, Jon Gray of Rockport Analytics breaks down key takeaways from our annual business travel spending forecast and discusses what each means for the business travel industry.

Delta Sky Clubs are now offering biometric check-in options for its members who are enrolled in CLEAR, Business Traveler notes.

According to Skift, expense technology providers are using big data techniques and machine learning to make it easier for travel managers and financial departments to design smarter travel policies.

Following the new tax bill that was signed in December, much of the hotel industry is hoping that lower corporate taxes will revive corporate meetings, The New York Times reports.

Bloomberg reports airlines are drawing scrutiny from the U.K. government over ancillary fees. In 2016 alone, 66 airlines generated $45 billion in ancillary revenue.

Early this week, Uber sold its Southeast Asian ride-hailing business to Singapore-based rival Grab, Skift reports. However, TechCrunch reports regulators in Singapore believe the purchase violates competition laws.

USA TODAY shares a list highlighting the USA’s best airlines for on-time flights.

Throwback Thursday: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

As we continue our march to GBTA Convention 2018 this August in San Diego where we will celebrate 50 years of GBTA, we make time to look back and reflect on our past and how we got to where we are today. Twenty-five years ago, still known as the National Business Travel Association, this video was created celebrating a quarter century.

This 1993 video talks about the changing role of the corporate travel manager, the evolving business travel landscape, and NBTA’s efforts to position its members to meet the new challenges of the day as well. It goes to show you, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Visit the GBTA Blog every Thursday for more throwback posts! Interested in submitting your own 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.

Podcast: Forecasting the Future of Business Travel

On the latest episode of The Business of Travel, GBTA discusses its annual business travel spending forecast. Jon Gray of Rockport Analytics breaks down key takeaways from the GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast, and discusses what each means for the business travel industry.



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

The Momentum of Women

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has just announced another one of its Centre Stage sessions for GBTA Conference 2018 Toronto, Canada’s largest business travel event taking place April 16-18. The Momentum of Women, moderated by Bloomberg’s Lily Jamali, will bring together Kim Plewes of the WE Movement and Mama Pasiyio of the WE Village to discuss the empowerment of girls and women. This session is made possible by American Express Global Business Travel.

“We are delighted to host two truly inspirational speakers and leaders of change at our conference,” said Nancy Tudorache, director of operations for GBTA Canada. “Attendees will walk away feeling empowered, and that anyone is capable of being a catalyst for change regardless of circumstances.”

Kim Plewes has been a leading voice in the WE movement for nearly two decades. From the steps of Parliament to Kenyan hillsides shaded by acacia trees, she’s spent her remarkable career working alongside, learning from and mentoring incredible change-makers who are charting a path for the next generation.



Mama Pasiyio, a proud artisan and mother, works with women across Narok County by helping them turn their traditional beading skills into thriving businesses. Giving mothers an opportunity to shape their own lives empowers them and enables them to act as role models for the future generation of women.


Lily Jamali is Bloomberg TV's Executive Producer in Toronto. She regularly appears on Bloomberg TV and BNN. Previously, she anchored Bloomberg Markets: Canada, a daily financial news program which aired across the country. From 2013-2017, she was a reporter and producer for Reuters TV, first in New York, where she covered finance and economics, and later in Silicon Valley focusing on tech. 



Media registration is complimentary for qualified media. Please contact Marianne Varkiani at or Colleen Gallagher at for more information on media registration.

Week in Review

On Wednesday night, Congress released the details of the FY18 Omnibus spending bill, rejecting an increase on the passenger facility charge (PFC) from $4.50 to $8.50. GBTA is pleased to see that attempts to increase the PFC were rebuffed – taxes and fees associated with travel typically lead to a negative effect on the U.S. economy at large.

Expedia-owned Orbitz discovered a potential data breach affecting 880,000 credit cards, The Verge writes.

European lawmakers are acting to address unfair airline competition rules, Reuters reports. On Tuesday, a European Parliament committee passed new rules that could revoke non-EU carriers’ rights to fly if they engage in “unfair” practices.

It may have been the first day of spring on Tuesday, but Mother Nature has not given up on winter just yet. The most recent Nor’easter from this week led to over 5,700 flight cancellations through the mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S., USA TODAY reports.

Across the pond, snowy conditions in the UK region led to airport closures, flight delays and cancellations, Buying Business Travel notes.

According to CNBC, over 16,000 flights have been cancelled this month due to a barrage of snowstorms, making it “the worst March for flight cancellations in at least six years”.

Budget airline Ryanair plans on investing €100 million to acquire a 75% stake in Australian airline Laudamotion, Travel Weekly reports.

Episode three of The Business of Travel delves into the potential rollback of consumer protections as part of the DOT’s “deregulatory” initiatives. Travel Tech’s Steve Shur shares what’s at stake if these regulations disappear, and Rick Wakida provides a buyer perspective on the potential impact on travelers and travel programs.  

BCD Travel forecasts a rise in hotel rates of two to four percent in 2018, Hotelmarketing’com reports.

Skytrax released its list of the world’s best airports for 2018, with Singapore’s Changi Airport taking the lead for the sixth consecutive year, TravelDailyNews International writes.

According to Bloomberg, airlines are asking the Trump administration to help hide fees from passengers by keeping relevant data out of their hands.

The same source notes that starting next year, the DOT plans to change the way an airline’s lost-bag rate is calculated.

Budget carrier AirAsia is in talks to launch an airline serving Myanmar, Reuters reports.

Convention Memories - Part 1

Remember that time an earthquake coincided with Convention? We do. After decades of hosting our annual event, almost nothing comes as a surprise. This year represents an incredible milestone in our history, as we’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of GBTA Convention in San Diego in August. To commemorate this occasion, we’ve been reaching out to past attendees to collect their most standout memories of Convention. If you’d like to get involved and celebrate with us, share your favorite, first, or most standout memory here.

David Lim, TSA

Kim Conway, Fragomen

Lisa Grobien, Conichi

Visit the GBTA Blog every Thursday for more throwback posts, and share your favorite Convention memories with us on Twitter using #TBT and tagging @GlobalBTA!

GBTA Encourages A Smarter and Safer EU Visa Policy

At the end of 2017, the European Commission launched a process to review the EU’s visa policy and adapt it to today’s challenges. In this context, the European Commission published its proposal to review the EU Visa Code this month meant to modernize and streamline the common European visa rules.

GBTA believes in sound and smart visa policies and earlier this year, GBTA submitted its position to the European Commission providing recommendations on the revision of the EU’s visa policy. GBTA strongly believes that the EU should ambitiously work towards achieving efficient visa policies that facilitate travel while upholding safety concerns. Business travel is the world’s largest employer and drives the success of every other industry. In this context, smart and balanced visa policies are essential to enable vetted business travelers to access European markets, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation.

GBTA is very pleased to see that most of its recommendations were taken into account in the recent Visa Code legislative proposal.

We are pleased to see that the European Commission is suggesting streamlining complex procedural requirements to obtain a Schengen visa. We are also pleased to see that Multiple Entry Visas’ procedures will be harmonized across the EU, as this will avoid certain EU countries from being more restrictive than others in delivering this specific type of visa.

However, we are concerned about the European Commission’s proposed increase of the visa application fees from €60 to €80. We call upon EU institutions to ensure fees are proportionate and enable the system to be self-sufficient financially, to avoid imposing additional tax burden on business travelers.

In our position paper, we had also called for online applications and the delivery of digital visas to be introduced as soon as possible, to simplify and accelerate the process for business travelers, while at the same time relieving consulates from administrative burden. We welcome the European Commission’s willingness to start discussions with the European Parliament and EU countries on this issue and hope these discussions will be quickly turned into concrete legislative outcomes.

GBTA remains ready to work hand-in-hand with European policymakers during the legislative process to ensure that its proposal to modernize the EU’s Visa Policy continues to take business travelers interests into account.

Newsletter: GBTA Brasil Março 2018

Carta da Presidente da GBTA: Christle Johnson

Prezados colegas de Viagens de Negócios,

O próximo ano promete ser emocionante para GBTA na América Latina. levará a cabo inúmeras Conferências e Dias Educativos em toda a região para conectar Compradores e Fornecedores de Viagens. A mudança na indústria de viagens continua crescendo de forma acelerada, e GBTA está aqui para ser o recurso que o manterá na vanguarda no que respeita à administração de viagens de negócios.

Por que um sólido programa de gestão de viagens é importante para sua empresa? As viagens de negócios, especialmente na América Latina, podem ter um impacto enorme na satisfação e retenção dos funcionários, já que quase três quartas partes dos viajantes de negócios na região dizem que sua experiência de viagens de negócios afeta grandemente sua satisfação no trabalho em geral. Além disso, a maioria dos viajantes (95 por cento) diz que a qualidade de sua experiência de viagens de negócios afeta os resultados de seu negócio.

Estou encantada de dar-lhe as boas-vindas à Cidade do México para o maior evento de gestão de viagens de negócios no país, América Central e o Caribe. Juntos, aproveitaremos o impulso criado pelas últimas tendências, as mudanças e as progressões na indústria e os prepararemos melhor para enfrentar os últimos desafios nas viagens administradas.

Estes são somente alguns pontos de destaque do evento:

  • Conferencistas e Sessões sensacionais: contamos com uma excelente seleção de oradores de alta qualidade, entre eles Jennifer Steinke, membro da Junta de GBTA com quase 30 anos de experiencia na indústria de viagens corporativas. Jennifer analisará as melhores práticas para criar ou melhorar seu programa de viagens administrados sob medida que procura equilibrar as necessidades de seus viajantes com os objetivos financeiros de sua empresa. Matthew Bradley, Diretor Regional de Segurança para Internacional SOS, falará também destacando as chaves para enfrentar uma crise e como cumprir com suas responsabilidades de dever de cuidado. Visite o site para obter uma lista completa de oradores.
  • Expo: Expo deste ano será maior que nunca reunindo compradores e fornecedores da indústria. Não perca a oportunidade de conectar-se e estabelecer contatos com líderes e tomadores de decisões na indústria de viagens de negócios.
  • Map Your Show: esta ferramenta desenhada para melhorar sua experiência está disponível por primeira vez para os participantes da Conferência na Cidade do México. Permite a interação do comprador e do fornecedor, simplificando sua experiência no local.

Por favor visite nossa página web para consultar a agenda completa e ver o calendário de todos os eventos de GBTA na América Latina deste ano.

Disfrute a Conferência!



Christle Johnson

Presidente dA GBTA


Conferência GBTA 2018 – Ciudad de México se prepara com o melhor da indústria de viagens corporativas

A Conferência GBTA 2018 – Ciudad de México, o maior evento de gestão de viagens de negócio na região, a realizar-se de 22 a 23 de março em sua edição número 12 para analisar as oportunidades e desafios que enfrenta a indústria atualmente.  
Alguns dos temas que abordará são: a importância do “Plano de Continuidade de Negócio (Business Continuity Plan)” em um Programa de Viagens - Comité TMC, a segurança hoteleira, o impacto dos Ancilliary Fees no orçamento de viagens e o futuro das viagens de negócios na América Latina. Também analisará as implicações do custo total para viagens corporativas, as “5 C” da resposta à crise e o desenvolvimento da melhor política de viagens.

Os 79% dos compradores que participam na conferência são tomadores de decisões em suas respectivas companhias, como é o caso de gerentes ou diretores executivos, que controlam grandes programas de viagens. Por exemplo, 34% maneja gastos de viagens entre US$5 milhões a US$20 milhões. Como também, 57% dos compradores trabalham para companhias globais.

Não perca esta oportunidade de estabelecer redes, fazer negócios e conhecer sobra as novas tendências de viagens na região. Para informações adicionais, ingresse aqui.


Inscreva-se já para a Conferência GBTA 2018 - São Paulo

Registro aberto para a Conferência deste ano que acontecerá em 11 de Junho. Aproveite a tarifa promocional até o dia  4 de maio. Você também pode fazer parte da Conferência como palestrante se for um expositor ou patrocinador do evento. Envie sua proposta até o dia 22 de março através do nosso site.

Descubra Mais>>


GBTA amplia sua oferta de capacitação na América Latina

Este 2018 traz mais oportunidades de alianças, capacitação e atualização profissional graças a ampla oferta de eventos que GBTA prepara para América Latina e que iniciará com a décima-segunda Conferência no México, América-Central e o Caribe, a realizar-se de 22 e 23 de março. Em seguida, uma conferência terá lugar em Santiago do Chile em 17 de abril; em Curitiba, Brasil, em 23 desse mesmo mês; em San José, Costa Rica, em 16 de maio e em São Paulo, em 11 de junho. Será a primeira vez que conferências serão realizadas no Chile e Costa Rica, enquanto que Brasil já é veterana com a conferência a de São Paulo, que celebrará sua sexta edição este ano, já Curitiba procura repetir o sucesso que teve sua primeira edição no ano passado.  

Para a segunda metade do ano, a oferta de atualização profissional e networking será ampliada com as conferências de Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, em 17 de setembro; Bogotá, Colômbia, em 9 de outubro; Buenos Aires Argentina, em 24 desse mesmo mês; e finalmente Lima, Peru em 14 de novembro.

Para informações adicionais visite nossa página.

Podcast - Rolling Back Airline Regulations And Nixing Consumer Protections – Episode 3

On episode three of The Business of Travel, GBTA takes on the potential rollback of consumer protections as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) “deregulatory” initiatives. The DOT has asked the airlines to suggest changes or cuts to regulations as part of a broad initiative from President Trump to reduce government red tape. The airlines have put together a list of regulations, however, that are ultimately necessary to protect business and leisure travelers alike.

GBTA’s Mike McCormick interviews Steve Shur, president of Travel Tech, on what is at stake if these regulations disappear. Next, GBTA’s Colleen Gallagher talks with Rick Wakida of Informatica and the GBTA Government Relations Committee for a buyer perspective on the impact on travelers and travel programs.



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

Week in Review

At least 49 people were killed on Monday as a result of a Bangladeshi plane crash in cloudy weather, Reuters reports.

Our wintry month of March continues, with over 1,600 cancellations nationwide early this week due to another nor’easter storm, USA TODAY notes.

According to Bloomberg, there’s a fight brewing for control of Italy’s skies as bankrupt Alitalia struggles to survive. The carrier’s bankruptcy administrators are assessing offers from global carriers, with a deadline of April 30.

On episode two of GBTA’s new The Business of Travel podcast, we talk female business traveler safety. International SOS’ Wendy Stachowiak shares tips for female business travelers to stay safe and healthy on the road, as well as how companies can work to keep their female travelers safe.

InterContinental Hotels Group acquired a 51% stake in Regent Hotels for $39 million USD, Skift reports. The deal also enables IHG to buy the remaining 49% “in a phased manner from 2026”.

In other acquisition news, Buying Business Travel notes AccorHotels has been given the green light to acquire Mantra Group, which consists of of 127 properties and over 20,000 rooms across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii.

4Hoteliers shares findings from a study that suggests travelers who book though online travel agencies stay longer and spend more during trips.

Upside Business Travel announced the launch of the first-ever National Business Traveler Day on April 24. GBTA is thrilled to partner on this initiative and recognize and appreciate business travelers nationwide.

According to Business Traveller, Dhaka, Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tokyo are Asia’s most expensive cities for business travel.

Bloomberg reports United Airlines is considering adding a “Premium Economy” class to its domestic U.S. flights. Upgraded economy sections are “typically reserved for overseas markets”.  

Tokyo’s Narita International Airport has been cleared to add a third runway and extend its operating hours, Business Traveller notes.

According to AINonline, landing and parking fees are set to rise at 14 international airports in Greece.