Throwback Thursday: Becoming GBTA

2011 was quite a chaotic year – it marked the Egyptian revolution ending the decades-long presidency of Hosni Mubarak, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in New Zealand, a weeks-long nuclear crisis in Fukushima and the deaths of Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-il and Steve Jobs. BBC appropriately coined it “the year when a lot happened”.

On a lighter note, 2011 also marked a big change for our organization. In order to reflect the global nature of our operations, the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) became the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in February of that year. Executive Director & COO Mike McCormick and former President Craig Banikowski announced the change and laid out the vision for the organization’s future at the 2010 NBTA International Convention & Exposition in Houston.

As we look ahead to our 50th annual Convention in San Diego this summer, we also take this time to look back and reflect on the history of our industry. During “the year when a lot happened”, the travel industry was no stranger to chaos either. Among the things that happened in 2011:

  • January – Restrictions on Americans’ travel to Cuba were eased (The New York Times)
  • March – The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong opens, claiming the title of world’s tallest hotel (CNN)
  • September – Inbound tourism to the Middle East declines in the wake of protests and revolutions associated with the Arab Spring (Euromonitor International)
  • October – The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the world’s first carbon-composite passenger jet, makes its commercial debut by flying travelers from Tokyo to Hong Kong (Reuters)
  • November – American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of higher fuel prices and reduced demand for travel (Reuters)

For more on the happenings of 2011, check out the Top 10 Everything of 2011 by TIME.  

Stay tuned 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. Visit the GBTA Blog every Thursday for more throwback posts!

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