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GBTA Convention 2021 Sets The Pace For Business Travel’s Return

Industry comes together at event for the first time in over two years with a focus on business travel recovery as well as the future of work, sustainability, diversity and inclusivity, and wellness.

Business travel is on the road to recovery, as evidenced by the forecasts, insights and turnout at the Global Business Travel Association’s 2021 Convention held last week in Orlando, FL.

After navigating months of pandemic-related planning, the event—the world’s largest business travel expo annually—attracted over 3,500 registered professionals from more than 20 countries, and featured 170+ travel industry and expert speakers, 50 education sessions and 200+ exhibitors. The state of the industry, the future of work, sustainability, diversity, equality and inclusion, and wellness were prominent themes and topics of the convention, mirroring the evolution of the industry.

“This was certainly a GBTA Convention like no other, in a year that’s been like no other. But what was clear is that we’re getting back to business and getting back to travel,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “There were challenges due to the pandemic, but I am delighted to say that the event surpassed our expectations, especially in light of current circumstances. The convention marked a very positive step and we are now looking forward to our next in-person events such as the GBTA Europe in Berlin in December."

 

Industry forecasts, data and insights

• GBTA released its latest Business Travel Index 2021-2025 (made possible by HRS) revealing travel spending is forecast to surge in 2022 with full recovery expected in 2024–ending the year back to 2019 pre-pandemic global business travel spending levels of $1.4 trillion.

The GBTA-CWT Global Business Travel Forecast 2022 showed global travel pricing increases are ahead–in 2022, flight prices are expected to rise 3.3%, hotel rates 13% and ground transportation 3.9%. This will be primarily driven by increasing demand, capacity constraints and travelers’ sustainability demands, plus increased labor and fuel costs.

• During GBTA Media Day industry leaders announced news and industry firsts, while the GBTA Broadcast Studio hosted almost 40 executive interviews from some of the leading and most innovative companies in business travel and beyond.

 

Recognizing outstanding GBTA contributors

GBTA named its annual award winners and introduced a new association recognition:

• Direct Member of the Year Award winner: Carol Fergus, Global Travel Manager, Fidelity

• Allied Member of the Year Award winner: Gary Murakami, Vice President of Sales and Industry Relations, Teneo Hospitality Group

• President’s Award winners: The GBTA Bylaws and Ready Safe Travel Task Forces

• Dave Hilfman Leadership Scholarship winner: Beth Kinerk, Senior Vice President, Sales, Avis Budget Group, for this new award that will be given annually through 2023

 

Looking ahead to 2022

GBTA revealed its theme for 2022 including next year’s convention: “(Re)Connect, (Re)Imagine, (Re)Create.” Sign up to receive alerts about registration, sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for GBTA Convention 2022, August 14-17 in San Diego, CA.

 

Catch GBTA Convention 2021 on-demand

There’s still an opportunity to access the best of Convention 2021 on-demand.

• Non-attendees can sign up for GBTA Convention Replay to view the five Main Stage sessions and 25 educations session from November 29 to January 28, 2022.

• Registered attendees can watch anytime via the GBTA Convention Center app by going to "My Convention Planner," clicking the session of their choice, and scrolling down to the "Handouts" section to view.

 

About the Global Business Travel Association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations across four continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. Visit www.gbta.org and follow us on LinkedInYouTubeTwitter and Facebook.