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Reflections from Brussels: Community, Learning, Advocacy and Action for Business Travel’s Future

Last week hundreds of stakeholders from the global industry gathered in Brussels for a pair of back-to-back GBTA events – the Sustainability Summit and the Europe Conference with VDR – as together we continue to set the agenda and create the platform for the many voices within our sector. 

The GBTA Sustainability Summit centered around where we are on our sustainability journey, with action also paramount as we began mapping a climate action plan for the industry. 

My Sustainability Summit key takeaways: 

  • The world is better connected than ever on climate action, with the European Union having led the way for many years, and now the U.S. stepping up recently with major government funding via the Inflation Reduction Act.  
  • Within our industry – we can all contribute. From policy makers to corporate buyers and their chief sustainability officers, from travel and energy suppliers to travel ecosystem intermediaries – diverse voices will be critical in defining solutions and methodologies for reaching a successful outcome.   
  • The learnings and debate at the Summit were indeed sobering regarding the current state of the planet – but in the end, were also optimistic – as travel is a force for good and humans need to connect.  
  • It’s no longer “why” we need to take action, but rather “how.”  As an industry and society, we must urgently find a way to make travel sustainable through innovation, investment, and smart initiatives.  

On best practices in business travel – our GBTA Europe Conference in Partnership with VDR covered so much for the over 800 attendees who joined in. We kept the conversation going on sustainability while turning to focus on other essential areas including: 

  • the regional recovery outlook
  • travel risk management and traveller care 
  • strategic use of data, the role of the TMC, future-proofing through digitalization  
  • debating the future of meetings and also what’s ahead for payments 

(Couldn’t attend? Sign up for replay options for the Europe Conference and Sustainability Summit.) 
Connection and dialogue will now move to Asia-Pacific for the PATA-GBTA APAC Travel Summit, December 8-9, in Bangkok. We’ll take a post-pandemic look at what’s reshaping the state of business travel, tourism, and MICE. We’ll explore regional forecasts, best practices and trends, as well as developments in aviation, hospitality, sustainability, and blended travel. We look forward to rounding out a very productive 2022 by connecting with many of you in APAC.