The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Week in Review

Following a deadly accident on a plane that required an emergency landing, Southwest Airlines has launched a voluntary inspection program and canceled 40 flights a day, 6 ABC reports.

The EU is attempting to regulate the business practices of online travel agencies like Expedia under a proposed law, Reuters notes. The new rules would require additional transparency on the ranking of search results among other things.

According to TechRepublic, two cybersecurity researchers have discovered a way to breach the security systems of hotel rooms around the world by exploiting lapses in the electronic lock systems made by lock manufacturer Assa Abloy.

American Express Global Business Travel unveiled a multi-channel ground transportation platform, giving travel managers access to over 750 operators in more than 2,000 cities in 18 countries, Buying Business Travel writes.

Tuesday, April 24 marked the inaugural National Business Traveler Day, during which we celebrated business travelers as the unspoken heroes of the American economy. Hear from industry leaders on the importance of this initiative.

Marriott is testing out the home-sharing market through a six-month pilot and partnership with home rental management company Hostmaker, Skift reports.

USA TODAY shares tips on what to do if your hotel reservation is lost when you have a confirmed booking.

Artificial intelligence is steadily changing the face of corporate travel management through both optimization and automation, Phocuswire reports. With an abundance of traveler data at their fingertips, companies are turning to machine learning to improve their programs.

Buying Business Travel notes budget airline WOW has added premium fares to its transatlantic offerings.

According to Skift, it appears as though the Supreme Court will uphold President Trump’s travel ban and rule it constitutional. A decision will likely be made at the end of June.  

On Friday morning, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, a five-year bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. GBTA commends bipartisan efforts to pass the bill.

Call for Nominations: GBTA Board of Directors

*GBTA Members received the following post in an email from Election Services Corp. along with a personalized link to submit your nominations for the Board. If you do not think you received the email, please check your spam folders first. If you still cannot find the email, please contact Election Services at for assistance.*​

GBTA's Board elections are held each year in conjunction with the annual Convention. Volunteering on the Board is a chance for our industry's leaders to make a long-term positive impact on our profession. This message is meant to advise you of the GBTA Board election process and to invite you to participate by nominating candidates for vacant positions. We hope that you will choose to participate by nominating a peer - or even yourself.

Volunteering to serve on the Board has many benefits. You have the opportunity to serve with fellow leaders that could benefit your professional life. Your opinions and experience provide needed input into shaping the strategic goals for the organization.

The Board consists of thirteen (13) Members comprised of the President, Vice President, Immediate Past President/Chairman of the Board, President of the Chapter Presidents' Council, President and Vice President of the Allied Leadership Council, five (5) Direct Members at large, and two (2) Allied Members at large. The Executive Director & COO also serves as an ex officio Member of the Board.

Open Positions:

  • Direct Member at Large (3) - for a term of three years to begin at the close of GBTA Convention 2018 through the close of GBTA Convention 2021

  • Allied Member at Large (1) - for a term of two years to begin at the close of GBTA Convention 2018 through the close of GBTA Convention 2020

Direct Members at Large will be elected by GBTA Direct Members. Allied Members at Large will be elected by GBTA Allied Members.

Eligibility Requirements: (As stated in Article VI of GBTA's bylaws.)
To be eligible for nomination, the following requirements must be met:

  • Be a Direct or Allied Member that has been a GBTA Member in good standing (in their respective category) for the last two (2) consecutive years; and

  • Completed at least one (1) year of service to the Association or local chapter

Any Direct Member of the Association may nominate a qualified Direct Member or themselves to be Direct member at Large Director.

Any Allied Member of the Association may nominate a qualified Allied Member or themselves to be an Allied Member at Large Director.

The Role of the Board:
The Board of Directors serves a crucial role in determining the long-term strategy and future governance needs of the Association. A Director attends approximately four (4) in-person meetings of the Board throughout the year as well as periodic Board conference calls as needed. In addition, all Board Members attend the annual GBTA Convention where they participate in several leadership assignments. All Board Members spend time deliberating on matters and policies related to the Association's programs and services. In addition, Board Members should expect to carry out special assignments and make appearances at local chapter meetings, committee meetings or other forums where GBTA's leadership presence is needed throughout the year.

In addition to the GBTA Board of Directors, Allied Member positions will also serve on the GBTA Allied Leadership Council. This Council advises the Board on industry related matters from a supplier perspective.

What Should a Candidate be Prepared For?
All candidates for the Board should be knowledgeable of GBTA's programs, services and Bylaws. All candidates are asked to submit a platform statement and respond to questions. The candidate's platform statement and responses are published in an election brochure that is sent to all Members in advance of Convention. In addition, candidates appear at the Annual Business Meeting / Election on Monday of our annual Convention, and provide a brief, three-minute statement to their peers.

All candidates must adhere strictly to campaign guidelines.

The Election Process:
GBTA's election process is guided by GBTA's Bylaws, which require that activities and deadlines are met in a timely manner. The critical dates and process are noted below:

  • May 15 - Deadline for Nominations

  • May 24 - List of Nominees Announced to Membership

  • June 7 - Candidate Platforms Due

  • June 14 - Election Brochures Sent

  • June 25 - Notice of Annual Meeting

  • 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

How to Submit a Nomination:
GBTA is once again using an online nomination process this year. You can nominate yourself or another Member that has personally agreed to run for election. You may nominate as many or as few candidates as you like. GBTA Members should have received an email directly from Election Services with a personalized link to submit your nomination(s) on April 17, 2018. Nominations must be submitted by May 15, 2018.

If you have any questions about the online nomination process, please contact Election Services Corp. by email at or call toll-free +1 866 720 HELP (4357).

Please note: Any other method of submission of the nomination form will not be accepted.

Throwback Thursday: A Look Back at the 2000s

In honor of our 50th anniversary of Convention in San Diego this August, we’re celebrating by taking a look at our past through a series of throwback posts. Today, we delve into a few photos from our events through the 2000s. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a glance at our milestones through this time period.

2000 - Photos from the NBTA Convention Opening Reception

2000 – Signed Letter from Bill Clinton

2002 – Photos from the NBTA Convention

2002 – Signed Letter from George Bush

2005 – Photos from NBTA Convention

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!

ETIAS: A Fair and Beneficial System for Business Travelers

On 25 April 2018, European policy makers concluded negotiations on a new legislation that will put in place a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), an equivalent to the well-known Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) introduced in the United States in 2008.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), representing 9,000-plus members that manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually, congratulates EU legislators for striking the right balance between enhancing security and avoiding unnecessary burdens on business travelers.

GBTA is pleased to see that its call for a fair and reasonable system for business travelers has been taken into account by EU legislators:

  • The ETIAS fee will not exceed €7 and the ETIAS authorization will be valid for three years. This will allow for the system to be financially self-sufficient while not deterring business travel to the EU.

  • Passengers simply transiting through a Schengen country will not have to request an ETIAS authorization.

  • The system will apply to all visa-exempt applicants – without exemptions – between the ages of 18 and 70.

The system will allow EU Member States to conduct pre-travel screening to assess security and migration risks before issuing a Schengen visa, therefore closing the information gap on travelers entering the Schengen area without a visa. This will undoubtedly help identify any possible security concerns, thus contributing to improved travel safety as well as improved EU internal security.

ETIAS will also ease border control processes and provide visa-exempt business travelers with a reliable and early indication of their admissibility into the Schengen area.

GBTA would therefore like to call upon EU decision-makers to swiftly finalize the last legal steps to avoid any delays in the implementation of the system.

Podcast: Celebrating National Business Traveler Day

The inaugural National Business Traveler Day took place this Tuesday, April 24th. Upside Business Travel led this initiative celebrating business travelers as the unspoken heroes of the American economy. Our research shows business travel spending alone represents 3 percent of national GDP - comparable to the entire domestic auto industry – and that’s nothing compared to how road warrior time on the road helps our companies grow.

National Business Traveler Day events took place across the country from JFK to SFO and O’Hare to LAX. The GBTA podcast hit the road again this week to take part in the festivities from New York City where Skift’s Andrew Sheivachman moderated a panel on the changing face of today’s business travelers.

GBTA caught up with Andrew and the panelists among the crowd and buzz around #NBTDay for highlights from the panel discussion and their take on the importance of National Business Traveler Day. Jay Walker, Chairman of Upside Business Travel and founder of Priceline; Leiti Hsu, Cofounder, Journy and Partner & Editorial Director, Word of Mouth; and Wendy Longwood, Chief Operating Officer, Dress for Success Worldwide all shared their insights on this week’s episode of The Business of Travel.



National Business Traveler Day Panel

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!

Finally! Business Travelers Get Some Respect

By Jay Walker, Chairman, Upside Business Travel

Few people realize it, but the U.S. economy largely runs on the efforts of an army of incredibly hardworking professionals who make nearly 514.4 million domestic business trips a year.

That’s right…25 million-plus business travelers are out there every day hustling on planes, trains and automobiles.

Yet despite driving a $424 billion domestic business travel sector (roughly the size of the auto industry), we don’t even know who these people are.

For example, when somebody says “business traveler,” what picture pops into your head?

If you instantly visualize an older guy in a suit, clutching his briefcase, then your stock of mental images needs some serious updating.

Today’s business travelers are statistically about as likely to be women as men.

And, today’s business travelers are as likely to be Millennials as Baby Boomers. They come in all ethnicities, too.

So says our comprehensive, soon-to-be-released survey covering the “independent” half of the market -- i.e., “do-it-yourself” road warriors who lack access to formal travel resources and make their own plans.

Yet regardless of age, sex, race, or other demographic factors – and despite their huge economic importance -- business travelers rarely get their due appreciation.

Happily, this is changing in a big way on April 24th.

Announcing the first-ever National Business Traveler Day!

Heck, America already celebrates National Hot Dog Day (July 18), National Wear Red Day (Feb. 26) and National Reptile Awareness Day (Oct. 21).

Why not an official day to say “thank you” to tens of millions of U.S. business travelers who are always on the move in service of America’s economy?

National Business Traveler Day (NBTD) is organized by Upside Business Travel. Our media partner is The Wall Street Journal. Supporting NBTD are 25 top-quality partner companies including United Airlines, Hertz, XpresSpa, Mastercard, Uber for Business and Dress for Success--see below for the full list.

How will we celebrate NBTD? In the words of John Adams upon the founding of the United States of America:

“From this day forth, let our Nation mark this Historic Day with bands, parades and fireworks and all Manner of festive Human Events!”

Oh, wait -- we already do that on July 4th.

On second thought, then, let’s do some fun (yet practical) things that really show our appreciation to business travelers.

Front and center: a lavish Business Traveler Dream Sweepstakes. The Grand Prize winner gets free first-class upgrades on every domestic business flight for the next 20 years.

Specifically, the Grand Prize awards $5,000 a year to pay for 20 years of domestic first class upgrades. Enter here through May 18; it’s free (rules).

While we’re at it, let’s throw in some amazing giveaways and prizes for additional sweepstakes winners, courtesy of our NBTD partners.

Next, we’re asking the U.S. Congress to enshrine NBTD in law.

A National Proclamation, to be introduced by a bipartisan group of members of Congress, will get our entire country on record, recognizing business travel as “a vital component to the economic health of the U.S. economy today and in the future.”

Finally, some official respect for America’s road warriors!

If you happen to be traveling on business on April 24th, you just might see some NBTD activities and hospitality at several major airports. If so, we warmly encourage you to step up and take advantage.

At O’Hare, JFK and DFW we’re hosting special lounge spaces where business travelers can relax with free refreshments, recharge their electronic devices and connect with colleagues.

Also on April 24th at JFK, SFO and LAX, along with the Westfield World Trade Center location, selected business travelers who are readers of The Wall Street Journal will be treated to complimentary spa services at XpresSpa locations.

Talk about traveling in style.

To provide a few smiles during the run-up to NBTD, we conducted a lighthearted online competition, presented by Hertz, where business travelers voted for “History’s Greatest Business Trip.”

The contest’s 32 brackets included everything from Odysseus getting home 10 years late from the Trojan War -- to the first commercial airline flight -- and the first-ever Moon landing. (Winner: Apollo 11.)

But let’s face it; you don’t have to be a pioneering aviatrix or a Moonwalking astronaut in order to be a business travel hero.

You just have to keep getting out there on the road, putting in the miles and doing your part for yourself, your company and the U.S. economy.

There are more than 25 million of you heroes, and we salute you one and all.


Our deep appreciation goes to our generous National Business Travel Day partners: United Airlines; XpresSpa; Hertz; Mastercard; Uber for Business;; 24 Hour Fitness; Audible; BARK, the makers of BarkBox; Blue Bottle Coffee; Global Business Travel Association; Hudson Group, operators of Hudson and Hudson News; iHeartMedia; iPass; JetBlue; Journy; LATAM Airlines; LoungeBuddy; Lyft; The Points Guy; THNKS; and UNTUCKit. Thanks also to Dress for Success, NBTD’s non-profit partner and The Wall Street Journal, NBTD’s media partner.


About Jay Walker

Jay S. Walker, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, is Chairman of Walker Digital, LLC, (“Walker Digital”) which he founded in 1994. He is widely known as the founder of, which brought a new level of value to the travel industry and its millions of customers. Mr. Walker is also the co-founder and Director of The TEDMED Foundation (“TEDMED”), a global community of people from every field who are passionate about the future of health and medicine (TEDMED is the sole independent licensee of the TED organization). In addition, he is the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of The Upside Travel Company, LLC (“Upside”), a business travel company he founded in 2015. Concurrently, Mr. Walker is a member of several organizations that promote innovative solutions to global problems, including The President’s Circle of the National Academies (comprising the National Academy of Sciences; the National Academy of Engineering; the National Academy of Medicine; and the National Research Council); and the Atlantic Council as a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Walker is also founder, curator and owner of The Library of the History of Human Imagination; he is actively involved with Cornell University as the co-chairman of its Library Campaign. Mr. Walker received his Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations, Cornell University, New York, in 1978 and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Cazenovia College, New York in 2011.

Throwback Thursday: Celebrating 30 Years

In March, we looked back on GBTA's 25th anniversary. Today we go back to Orlando when GBTA - still the National Business Travel Association at the time - celebrated its 30th anniversary. Here are some shots from the set up for the NBTA Convention in 1998.


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: Live Highlights from GBTA Conference 2018 - Toronto

On the latest episode of The Business of Travel, GBTA shares highlights from GBTA Conference 2018 – Toronto as it happens. First, hear from Nancy Tudorache, Director of Operations for GBTA in Canada. Next, listen to clips from Centre Stage sessions on procurement, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, technology, diversity in the workplace and the luncheon keynote featuring Lily Jamali of Bloomberg Canada.



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!

Conexão Brasil - GBTA Newsletter Abril

O Primeiro GBTA Business Travel  Management Workshop acontecerá em Santiago

O Chile se prepara para a realização do Primeiro GBTA Business Travel  Management Workshop, que acontecerá no próximo dia 17 de abril no hotel InterContinental de Santiago, organizado pela GBTA e a Câmara de Comércio Norte-americana do Chile - Amcham Chile.

O Workshop reunirá agências de viagens, travel managers e compradores em um dia cheio de atividades, no qual se abordarão e responderão a alguns dos principais desafios em áreas como finanças e recursos humanos em torno da gestão e compras de viagens.

Os participantes poderão se aprofundar também em conteúdos tanto de gestão da tecnologia aplicada, implementação de processos, elaboração da política de viagens além de desenvolvimento de acordos.  

Para informações adicionais sobre tarifas e inscrição, clique aqui.


Curitiba Prepara sua Segunda Conferência com o Melhor da Indústria de Viagens de Negócios

Graças ao sucesso da conferência de 2017, Curitiba se prepara para receber a mais de 120 profissionais da indústria de viagens corporativas na Segunda Conferência GBTA 2018. Os participantes se reunirão no próximo dia 23 de abril em esta próspera cidade do sul do Brasil, para conhecer os desafios que representa um mundo em constante mudança.

Entre os temas a serem tratados, alguns dos mais destacados da indústria são: desafios e oportunidades da hotelaria em um mundo volátil, instável, complexo e ambíguo; tecnologia, tendências e inovação; e impacto da economia compartilhada na mobilidade corporativa, e na tecnologia e a gestão de viagens corporativas.

Também haverá grandes oportunidades de networking entre gestores de viagens de negócio, compradores e fornecedores. Para informações adicionais sobre tarifas e inscrição, clique aqui.


GBTA lança o Blue Ribbon Education Panel

A fim e melhorar a oferta educacional, GBTA lançou o Blue Ribbon Education Panel. Integrado por importantes líderes da indústria de viagens de negócio, o painel visa determinar a relevância de conteúdo educacional disponibilizado pela Associação, identificando oportunidades e otimizando os canais com um enfoque no aperfeiçoamento da experiência educacional para profissionais da indústria.

“A mudança acelerada da indústria torna imperativo que a GBTA constantemente avance seu programa educacional para ajustar-se cada vez mais às necessidades de nossos membros e prepará-los para o futuro da gestão de viagens”, afirmou Christle Johnson, Presidente de GBTA.

“A meta deste painel é assegurar que o programa educacional da GBTA leve em conta as necessidades de todos os membros, independentemente de sua posição ou tipo de afiliação, e criar verdadeiramente uma rota profissional desenhada por e para seus membros”, afirmou Jennifer Steinke, membro da Junta Diretora de GBTA e Presidente do Blue Ribbon Education Panel.

O painel teve sua primeira reunião em 2017 para iniciar a avaliação da oferta atual e identificar áreas de novo conteúdo e métodos educacionais. O painel continuará trabalhando ao longo de 2018 para entender as necessidades dos membros através de enquetes, discussões e mesas redondas, assim como avaliar as conquistas e gaps, e aprender com as boas práticas de especialistas no campo da educação e desenvolvimento profissional. Finalmente, o Painel fará recomendações à junta diretora da GBTA sobre a futura estratégia de oferta educacional de GBTA.

Para informações adicionais sobre os integrantes do Blue Ribbon Education Panel, clique aqui.


Mais de 500 Profissionais de Viagens Corporativas Participaram da Conferência GBTA 2018 - Ciudad de México

A Conferência GBTA México, América-Central e o Caribe, realizada nos dias 21 a 23 de março, reafirmou sua posição como um dos eventos mais sólidos da região com a participação de mais de 500 profissionais de viagens corporativas.

Conferencistas de vários países tais como Jennifer Steinke, Membro da Junta Diretora de GBTA; Leandro Bonfranceschi, Head Corporate de Amadeus para América Latina e o Caribe; Jay Galindo, VP Security Marriot International e José Roberto Fonseca, Regional Travel Manager Merk Sharp & Done, entre outros, foram os encarregados de compartilhar seus conhecimentos sobre as tendências em segurança e futuro das viagens de negócios. Também foi abordado como obter o melhor retorno do investimento em despesas de viagens como um dos tópicos das Sessões Educacionais, que contou com excelente participação.  

Os participantes interagiram, também, nas Exposições Comerciais onde tiveram a oportunidade de se conhecerem, fazer intercâmbio de idéias e se conectar para futuras estratégias. Foram três dias intensos onde pode perceber a camaradagem entre todos os presentes.

“Queremos, nestes tempos de mudança, tanto no nível nacional quanto no mundial, motivá-los para obter maior produtividade e consciência de custos. É nosso objetivo que em este encontro obtenham o melhor de cada um, aproveitem as sessões educacionais, perguntem, se relacionem e, claro, que desfrutem e retornem com muitas idéias e estratégias em políticas de viagem para implementá-las este ano”, foram as palavras de boas-vindas à Conferência GBTA México 2018 expressadas por seu Presidente Enrique Chávez V. durante a inauguração do evento, que aconteceu na Expo Santa Fe de CDMX.

Guia para fornecedores de Viagens Corporativas

Você é fornecedor de serviços de Viagens Corporativas? Tem como objetivo incrementar suas vendas no segmento? Elaboramos um guia para melhorar sua estratégia. Inclui estimativa de investimento de Viagens Corporativas na América Latina e Caribe e mais….

Descarregar guia grátis >

Convention Memories - Part 2

From monkeys on the Expo Floor to yoga sessions for stress relief, there’s always something new in store at GBTA Convention. Throughout our decades of hosting the event, our attendees have walked away with thousands of unforgettable memories. This year marks our 50th anniversary, and in honor of that, we’ve been asking past attendees to share their favorite, first or standout memories from the event. If you’d like to get involved and commemorate our growth over the years, share your own memories here.

Sara Rooney, Festive Road


Mary Ellen George, Tramada Systems

“My first convention was in San Antonio, Texas in the mid '80's, I was working in the hotel industry at the time but it was at NBTA that I met some TMC executives thru one of the convention networking events, oddly enough on a river boat ride, this ended up launching what's now been a 30+ year career in the travel industry. Thank you GBTA for not losing sight over the years the value in bringing us all together!”


Jenny Gasalao, MGM Resorts International


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!