The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Celebrating 50 Years

Before going global in 2011, many of you know that GBTA was previously the National Business Travel Association (NBTA). However, not everyone will remember that NBTA was not the original name of the association. In 1968, the National Passenger Traffic Association (NPTA) was founded in New York City. Although we have come a long way since then, we will never forget our humble beginnings.

For 50 years, GBTA has provided a platform for managed travel professionals to share best practices, policies and solutions to the industry’s greatest issues. To commemorate this momentous occasion, we put together a timeline documenting major events in the business travel industry over several decades, in addition to milestones for our organization.

Take a look at the progression of our industry here. We look forward to Celebrating 50 Years with each and every one of you at GBTA Convention 2018 in San Diego!

Successful Women Leading in Business Travel

On August 13, three senior leaders in business travel will highlight success factors and obstacles they experienced throughout their careers, and will also address the unique challenges they faced as women to get to the level they are at today. Moderator Dorothy Dowling, SVP & CMO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, expresses her excitement in moderating this Center Stage panel and shares additional information about the session. 

5 claves de éxito para expositores en los eventos de GBTA

Para justificar su inversión con un stand en las Conferencias de GBTA es importante que tenga una estrategia para mejorar los resultados de su exhibición. Queremos compartirles acciones clave que le ayudaran a tener una mejor experiencia.

Planee con tiempo

Al planear con tiempo puede asegurarse que diversos departamentos de su empresa estén enterados de su participación en los eventos de Global Business Travel Association, (principalmente marketing y ventas) podrá producir material específico para el evento, invitaciones personalizadas, anuncios en redes sociales, etc.

Invite a sus cuentas clave

El evento es suyo, además de los profesionales de viaje que asisten para capacitación, le recomendamos invitar personalmente a aquellas cuentas o personas clave que le interesa contactar, puede tener una Mesa VIP en el evento para asegurar esa conexión cara a cara y continuar con sus negociaciones en un ambiente profesional y agradable.

De seguimiento

Es importante que haga seguimiento inmediato a los contactos que haya generado en la exposición, según nuestra encuesta post evento en México, 7 de cada 10 participantes asiste al evento para relacionarse con nuevos proveedores. No pierda tiempo.

Aproveche cualquier momento para hacer networking

Su stand le ayudará a exhibir su marca y tener un espacio dedicado a hacer negocios y compartir nuevo productos y servicios a profesionales de viajes corporativos, pero durante el evento tendrá otros momentos como los Coffee Break donde podrá conocer profesionales de su mismo sector.

Aumente su alcance

Asegúrese de tomar evidencia de su stand, amplifique su inversión en redes sociales. Recuerde etiquetarnos, aquí algunos ejemplos de expositores de GBTA pasados.


Conozca nuestros próximos eventos de Global Business Travel Associaton en América Latina dando click aquí:

Podcast: 2019 Global Travel Forecast

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel dives into the findings of the just-released 2019 Global Travel Forecast, conducted in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel. GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick and Jon Gray of Rockport Analytics discuss high-level findings and what buyers can expect for travel prices across the air, hotel and ground sectors in 2019. Learn more and download the full report here.



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 Trends in 2019

Travel buyers, are you in the process of developing your travel program or budget for 2019? Don't miss out as industry experts discuss global travel pricing trends for air, hotel and ground transportation in the year ahead. GBTA and Carlson Wagonlit Travel will share the findings of a new report through Facebook Live on Tuesday, July 24. 

GBTA Executive Director & COO Michael W. McCormick will be joined by Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Christophe Renard and GBTA Economist Jon Gray to review global travel pricing in addition to the trends shaping the future of the industry. These industry experts will be readily available to answer your questions, so please submit them ahead of time via email to

RSVP for this event now to learn how your travel program will be impacted in 2019.

Convention Memories - Part 6

Three weeks remain until the 50th anniversary of The Business Travel Event of the Year® kicks off in the beautiful and sunny San Diego! In honor of this big milestone, we’ve been encouraging past attendees to share their most impactful memories with us. If you’d like to get involved, submit your favorite Convention memories here.  

Connie Smith, McCain Foods


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. See more memories from past attendees:

Podcast: GBTA Convention 2018 Preview & Speaker Announcement

For this week’s episode, GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick takes over The Business of Travel to provide a Convention preview of our main stage speakers at Convention Arena and Center Stage. Mike also unveils our Wednesday lunch keynote, so be sure to tune in so you can hear it here first before next week’s official announcement!



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!

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.

Week in Review

As Taiwan braced for the impact of Typhoon Maria on Tuesday, Reuters reports hundreds of flights were cancelled and schools were shut down. Weather officials warned of landslides and flooding on the island.

A new study revealed Miami International Airport was the top-ranked airport in Florida for business travelers, TravelPulse notes.

According to Business Traveller, Singapore’s Changi Airport will soon become the first airport in Southeast Asia to accept payments through WeChat Pay.

Ryanair was forced to ground dozens of flights on Thursday after a pilot walkout, Skift writes. This is the biggest strike that the airline has faced to date.

Corporate Travel Management acquired Hong-Kong based travel agency Lotus Travel Group in a $37.4 million USD deal, Travel Weekly notes.

Also on the acquisition front, Buying Business Travel reports Booking Holdings will buy hotel Australian metasearch site Hotelscombined.  

On this week’s podcast, we discuss how to tune up your travel policy. The conversation focused on identifying cost-savings opportunities, finding the balance between cost-savings and traveler productivity, and addressing shared economy options.

According to Buying Business Travel, UK airports are “failing” disabled passengers. The Civil Aviation Authority came out with a ranking of the region’s 30 busiest airports based on their ability to provide disabled passengers with assistance.

U.S. airlines are increasingly putting smaller bathrooms on planes, Los Angeles Times notes.

According to Forbes, the percentage of women traveling for business is rising, and as such, so are their unique travel safety risks.

Business shares tips on how to deal with employees who go rogue while booking business travel.

Following a trial period, Buying Business Travel reports Carlson Wagonlit is rolling out its Price Tracking technology worldwide. The technology continuously monitors flight and hotel prices and checks them against existing bookings.

As Google places a bigger emphasis on its mobile-first initiative, HotelMarketing’com discusses how hoteliers must adapt their digital presence and marketing.  

According to USA TODAY, American Airlines plans to eliminate plastic straws and stir sticks from its flights and lounges. As a result, the airline predicts its use of plastic will lessen by 71,000 pounds a year.

Convention Memories - Part 5

In just one month, GBTA Convention 2018 will be underway in San Diego! In order to celebrate our upcoming 50th anniversary, we’ve been encouraging past attendees to share their favorite and most impactful memories with us. If you’d like to get involved in commemorating this momentous occasion, submit your favorite Convention memories here.


Kevin Iwamoto, GoldSpring Consulting


Stephen Gheerow, Ford Foundation


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. See more memories from past attendees: