The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

GBTA Research and Professional Development Update

Are Business Travel Programs Barring Basic Economy?

According to new research, business travel programs are not on board with basic economy fares. These fares were introduced by many airlines last year and are typically cheaper than standard airfare, but come with restrictions. The report, put out by GBTA in partnership with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), revealed that 63 percent of travel programs never allow basic economy, and even more (79 percent) configure their booking tool to hide basic economy fares when travelers are not authorized. Delve into additional research findings.  


GBTA Announces Formation of WINiT Strategic Advisory Board

In early October, GBTA announced the formation of the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board, which will provide strategic guidance and direction for the future of WINiT as a GBTA Board of Directors initiative. GBTA announced its acquisition of WINiT in August at GBTA Convention 2018 in San Diego. More details on this acquisition and initiative can be found here.


Mobile Payments among Travel Buyers and Suppliers Still in Early Adoption Phase

New research by GBTA, in partnership with U.S. Bank, reveals that mobile payments among travel buyers and suppliers are still in the early adoption phase. While most travel buyers and suppliers are familiar with mobile wallet and contactless payment solutions, 49 percent of travel buyers are still unclear on the benefits. Learn more about this new research.


GBTA & ITM Announce Long-Term Joint Venture

During GBTA Convention 2018, GBTA and The Institute of Travel Management (ITM), the leading managed business travel association in the UK and Ireland, announced the creation of a new London-based event for the managed travel and meetings sector. The new joint venture will kick off with an event, focused on Strategic Meetings Management, that will take place in London on 31 January 2019. Find out more about this partnership.


83 Percent of Female Business Travelers Report Safety Concern or Incident in Past Year

A recent study, conducted in partnership with AIG Travel, revealed that more than 8 in 10, or 83 percent, of women have experienced one or more safety-related concerns or incidents while traveling for business in the past year. The report delves into various precautions that female business travelers take due to safety concerns, highlights gaps in managed travel programs, and more. Read on for more statistics on female business traveler safety.


Business Travelers Say Loyalty Matters in Hotel Booking

According to new research by GBTA, in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, 82 percent of business travelers say loyalty programs matter when making a decision to book a hotel. Additionally, a vast majority (84 percent) of business travelers feel having a personalized guest experience is important. Learn more about trends in hotel personalization and loyalty programs.


Upcoming Events

October 30: GBTA Canada Market Call – Canadian Cannabis Legalization and Its Business Travel Implications 

November 6: Benchmark Your Air Travel Policy – Findings from GBTA ARC Research 

November 14: New GBTA Research – Simple Meetings by the Numbers – A Huge Process and Savings Opportunity 

November 26-27: Advanced Principles of Business Travel Management™ 

See More Upcoming Events



Thank You to Our Partners



AirPlus International


Avis Budget Group

BCD Travel

Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Carlson Family Foundation


Delta Air Lines



EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services

Enterprise Holdings, Inc.



HRS Global Hotel Solutions

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

IHG® - InterContinental Hotels Group

Lufthansa German Airlines

Millennium Hotels and Resorts

Omni Hotels & Resorts

Radius Travel

RoomIt by CWT

SAP Concur

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Southwest Airlines

United Airlines

U.S. Bank



Wyndham Hotel Group

Assessing and Building Your Managed Travel and Sustainable Travel Programs

At this week’s GBTA Conference in Frankfurt, the GBTA Foundation in partnership with BCD Travel is launching two newly updated and completely revamped global resources: the Sustainability in Travel Self-Assessment Tool and the Managed Travel Index® (MTI®).

“We are very proud to have been part of such important and wide-ranging projects,” said Kathy Jackson, BCD Travel’s executive vice president of global account management and executive chair of corporate social responsibility. “At BCD Travel we recognize that a travel program can contribute to a company’s goals by improving continuously. Both tools will help travel buyers bring their travel programs to the next level.”

The Sustainability in Travel Self-Assessment Tool will allow organizations to measure themselves in 10 different areas, identifying strengths and weaknesses in their travel program as it relates to sustainability.

The new tool will now provide recommendations based on input and will identify specific resources for improving or implementing sustainability initiatives for travel programs. The Sustainability Self-Assessment Tool can transform the entire process of planning and implementing a robust sustainability travel program.

The tool is incredibly easy to use and can be completed section by section over time, or all at once – it is up to you. Implementing a sustainability program is no easy task, but this tool is the perfect guide for any company looking to implement or improve upon successful sustainability initiatives.

The MTI® has been completely updated as well. The new tool is redesigned, improved and globalized, so those familiar with the older version would hardly recognize this one.

The Index helps benchmark the effectiveness of a managed travel program. It has been designed exclusively for non-supplier travel professionals. It is customizable to a specific program based on the information provided.

Like an expert consultant, it reviews your travel program and identifies specific ways to make it better.  The tool and the recommendations are available in French, English, German and Spanish.

Because most travel professionals are short on time, the tool has also been designed similar to the Sustainability Self-Assessment tool to be completed in a variety of ways. You now have the ability to go section by section, saving your progress and returning as your time allows, or you can simply do it all in one sitting.

Both tools are available now to all GBTA buyer members.

Combined, these two global resources can help travel professionals with a start-to-finish assessment of their managed travel and sustainability programs.

Why Taking a Sustainable Approach to Business Travel & Meetings Works!

Sustainability in Action... In this second blog post of my new sustainability series, I explain why following a responsible approach to a sustainable travel and meetings program is good for business. If you missed my first post on what sustainability is and why does it matter, read it here.

The word ‘sustainability’ is used a great deal in business today. It is important to know how it applies to the buying of business travel and meetings, what the benefits are and the reasons why you should get involved.

Let me explain!

Sustainability is a way of doing business that respects and balances the needs of the people we relate with, the environment in which we operate and the cost of doing business. In other words, balancing the 3Ps - PEOPLE, PLANET and PROFIT.

Ignoring just one of these components will ultimately damage all three, which is why we say your business needs to be in balance to maximize performance. Nor is this a short term ‘project’ or ‘solution’; success only comes from a change in behavior and a continuous program. SustainabilityPost2

‘Maintaining a healthy balance and ‘living within our means’

Why a Company Should Take Action?

There are a number of very good reasons why buyers of business travel and meetings should take action!

  • Countries are starting to introduce laws that force companies to address climate change.
  • This is a real profit and loss issue
  • Reputational risk/damage from ignoring some of these issues could be immense.
  • Social, environment and economic issues are driving people’s behaviors.
  • Globally, we all need to do more with less.

Why I Should Do This?

Including sustainable thinking into your travel program, or sales of products and services, has been proven to deliver many benefits to you and your company.

Based on ICARUS case studies, it is very clear to us that if you take a sustainable approach to managing your business travel program, your organization will make significant cost savings and ALSO benefit from meeting corporate sustainability goals.

In addition, it allows you to address many corporate risk management issues, comply with the increasing number of government regulations and retain productive staff

Key Business Travel & Meetings Best Practices

A number of standard business practices are brought together to deliver a sustainable performance:

  • ‘SMART’ Choices - Managing demand and use of lower carbon options.
  • Internal Programs – E.g. community outreach, social investments, collaborations with social organizations and NGOs/volunteers.
  • Employee Engagement - Duty of care - including travel security, safety and traveler well-being.
  • “Greening” Your Business Travel pPogram – E.g. Measuring/reducing the carbon footprint, setting reduction targets, and purchasing carbon offsets for business travel-related activities.
  • Environmental Supply Chain Sourcing - Criteria for including sustainability in selecting suppliers.
  • Creating Goals, Measurement and Reporting - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
  • Communication - Communicate and engage with stakeholders - internally and externally.

Sample Case Study: Quote from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) - One of the world’s leading professional services organizations

“The travel team at PwC UK have worked hard to support the firm’s global sustainability initiatives. We are particularly proud of the communication program, the support and effort from our Travel Champions and the commitment of our travellers. We aim to develop further new initiatives as we continue to improve our drive to greater sustainability in business travel and meetings” said Mark Avery, Global Business Services & Travel Leader.
  • 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions versus baseline for non-client travel
  • 7 million Euros in costs avoided in a 3 year period
  • 60 business units and 4,000 attendees continually involved in ‘Wellness Day’ regional programs

Resource Tip: Useful reading - *GREEN TO GOLD  -  Esty & Winston

How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage

Stay tuned for my next post in two weeks. If you can’t wait until then and want to learn more now, visit our Project ICARUS website.

I welcome your views and comments. Please feel free to comment below or email me at