The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

Podcast: Critical Thinking, Intuition and Innovation

As part of GBTA’s professional development opportunities, we offer the Global Leadership Professional® (GLP) Program in partnership with the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. It is the only masters-level course for travel professionals, and the strategic curriculum uses an interdisciplinary approach that addresses both the opportunities and challenges of conducting business in today’s evolving environment.

GBTA’s Professional Development team recently hosted one of the GLP courses called Critical Thinking, Intuition and Innovation at our headquarters just outside of Washington, D.C. As part of the two-day program participants learned methods to map out risks, rewards and varying outcomes to be able to logically assess the consequences of their choices and allow them to make more confident, profitable decisions, while creating better products, processes and services for their customers.

The course was taught by Robert Carraway, Associate Professor of Business Administration at UVA’s The Darden School. For this week’s episode of The Business of Travel, Professor Carraway joins us to talk about executive education, critical thinking and innovation.



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Enhancing the GLP Program

The Global Leadership Professional® (GLP) program has been a hallmark of the GBTA Academy for 15 years. The GLP Program is the only masters-level course for travel professionals and it uses an interdisciplinary approach that addresses both the opportunities and challenges of conducting business in today’s environment. Since its beginning, we have seen more than 280 travel professionals complete the Certificate of Professional Development (CPD), and another 100-plus achieve the industry’s highest designation, the GLP.

GLP logo

This week we are announcing several new enhancements to the GLP program based on feedback from our members. Over the years, we have modified and expanded the program to meet the demands of our industry and the changing needs of our members. We continue to survey our members, and in particular our GLP participants, to ensure we are delivering the highest value possible.

Our goal with these enhancements is to continue to deliver the highest level of professional development, while being sensitive to the ever-increasing demands on your personal and professional time and budget.

The primary change is the replacement of the 5-day GLP course with an additional 2-day session. We have worked closely with the Wharton faculty and administration to incorporate the key content from the 5-day session into four 2-day courses, along with deep dives in specific topic areas.

Beginning this year, requirements to receive the Certificate of Professional Development, issued by The Wharton School and GBTA Academy, will be the completion of four 2-day courses, covering the four competencies of finance, marketing, management and leadership. If you have already completed a 5-day course, however, you may count that as one of the four courses required.

I am also pleased to unveil our 2016 schedule:

Through the survey results, you have asked us to deliver the same value and experience you have come to expect from the GLP program at a more affordable price and in a way that means you spend less time out of the office. This change delivers just that.

Under the new pricing structure, 2015 pricing at $1,000 per 2-day course will be available through May 2. After that date, the price for each 2-day course will be $1,150.

GLP Savings
Additionally, the delivery of the GLP Designation will move to an every other year delivery. This will allow the proper time for members to complete the CPD and then be prepared to begin their GLP Designation. The next GLP Designation cohort is scheduled to begin in 2017.

We are excited about these changes and are confident it will allow us to continue to deliver you the high level of professional development you have come to expect from the GLP program. Our goal is to deliver dynamic training and education to industry professionals and elevate the future of the business travel profession. I look forward to seeing you in a GLP session or two this year!


*This post originally appeared as an op-ed in Global Business Travel magazine volume three, issue two.*

That's the name of the game at July's GBTA Convention 2015.

This year's Convention, July 25-29, is in Orlando, Florida, the home of Walt Disney World. Branding itself the "happiest place on Earth," Disney World is a place predicated on the concept of sharing. Its staff members work diligently to share happiness with all park guests. Epcot Center shares the cultures of multiple countries with park visitors. Tomorrowland, one of the areas within the Magic Kingdom, shares a vision of the technological possibilities in our future. The nearby MGM Grand Studios, with its Harry Potter-themed rides, shares a story that has captured the imaginations of millions throughout the world.

As befitting our location, the theme of this year's Convention is sharing - more specifically, #Sharing. We are structuring Convention to maximize the ability of business travel professionals the world over to share their experiences and successes in dealing with changes affecting our industry.


Like this issue of the magazine, Convention will address ways of adapting to disruption and the reconfiguring of paradigms. Because corporate and technological disruptors do not arrive on a set schedule, the work of a business travel professional is always dynamic. We must be ready to adapt or revamp our strategies in anticipation of or response to events. In the past few years, we have had to adapt to corporate disruptors such as Uber and Airbnb. Convention offers educational and networking opportunities to help all of us understand and respond with new, innovative approaches to programs and trade.

While GBTA's creative and talented staff members are still finalizing the details of this year's Convention, plans are already in place to build upon last year's innovations. To maximize the sharing of information and insights, we have made it easier to navigate the Convention through format and technological enhancements. The GBTA Expo will feature more than 400 companies from all over the world. Attendees can meet all their existing and potential suppliers in a single business trip - a tremendous saving of time and money.

Convention will offer a wide range of formal and informal educational opportunities. Beginning with Convention Kick-Start on July 25, Convention will feature more than 75 educational sessions. Attendees will be able to sit for the Global Travel Professional (GTP) certification exam. Those wishing to advance their careers further can participate in sessions that prepare them for designation as a Global Leadership Professional (GLP). Each day, some of the most creative and talented individuals in the business travel industry and related fields will speak at the Center and Arena stages.

I am particularly excited about a panel on the Future of Distribution, to be moderated by Dorothy Dowling, Best Western's Senior Vice President for marketing and sales. Dorothy is a veteran of the hotel industry whose responsibilities include overseeing Best Western's loyalty program, consumer and field marketing activities, advertising, public relations, and e-commerce. The panelists - Doug Anderson of CWT, Dave Pavelko of Google, and Scott Gutz of Amadeus North America - will address upcoming changes in the structure and business model of travel distribution.

Dorothy Dowling of Best Western International

Dorothy Dowling of Best Western International

 Of course, Convention is also an opportunity to meet and network with colleagues in a more relaxed setting. The GBTA Foundation will be sponsoring its 9th Annual Golf Classic and Spa Day. We are working with James Beard Award-winning chefs to ensure fantastic lunches prior to the Center Stage speakers.

On top of all this, we will be taking GBTA LIVE! to the next level to enhance attendees' experiences. Look for more streaming options and more viewing stations. The entire Convention will be accessible via your mobile device. The My Convention Planner tool will enable participants to set up meetings with suppliers, navigate the Expo floor, search for exhibitors, and read about the many new products being showcased at Convention and yes, #Sharing.

GBTA Convention is the one place where key members of the entire business travel industry gather under one roof. Convention connects people who can provide services, and it provides an excellent forum for the sharing of important information. As one who has been in the business travel industry for 35 years, I view Convention as one of the most important investments in education, development, and networking.

I look forward to seeing (and #Sharing with) all of you in Orlando!

GBTA Membership: Value You Can Count On

I have been a member of GBTA since 2000.  I know that your membership dues are a solid investment in your career.  Over the years, I have participated as a member on the board of directors, as the chair of the Technology Committee, worked hard on getting my GLP (Global Leadership Professional Program) designation, and attended many, many conventions and other GBTA events.  I know personally that my membership in GBTA has helped me to perform my role at a high level, achieving my personal and professional goals. I am proud of each accomplishment but never take for granted those that stood beside me along the way, including my peers and this Association.  I am a strong believer in the power of networking, making important business connections that can help you get your job done successfully.  I am a strong believer in taking advantage of the educational opportunities that GBTA makes available to each and every member. 

GBTA allows (and encourages) you to connect with others in the global business travel industry online via the GBTA Hub and in-person at GBTA’s many events around the globe throughout the year. The GBTA Foundation provides you with cutting-edge industry research,   including time-sensitive research and the invaluable GBTA Global Business Travel Indexes, providing global industry forecast data. GBTA has become the leader in business travel education.  We offer unparalleled education opportunities offered by the GBTA Academy, which include certification opportunities, continuing education and on-going webinars bringing education opportunities to your desktop.

I recently met a member, Erin Wilks, from Bank of America, at the GBTA All Committee Summit.  We engaged in the most dynamic conversation about her role and how GBTA has helped her become more informed and educated in her career.  So please take a moment and listen to Erin talk about how she benefits from her GBTA membership.

Our global membership base connects you instantly with your peers around the world, enables you to  better understand the business of travel on an international level and collaborate with potential suppliers and buyers.  I am proud to be part of this dynamic organization but mostly because it connects me with people just like Erin Wilks.