GBTA Looks To The Future

It was all about looking forward as the global business travel industry gathered in mid-August in San Diego, California for the Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) 2022 Convention.

The industry came together to “(Re)connect, (Re)Imagine, and (Re)Create,” with over 4,600 registered attendees — including 1,020 travel buyers from more than 50 countries, 550 buyer companies and 250-plus exhibitors — attending.

Fueled by a return to business travel, the event attracted significant numbers of first-ever attendees and new companies attending the convention. The evolution of the global business travel industry, future of work, sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion were prominent topics as the industry moves forward post-pandemic.

Susan Neufang, CEO of GBTA, said of the event: “I’m delighted that we have been able to bring the industry together at Convention to celebrate achievements, recognize our members and volunteers and build momentum for the future of business travel. Our industry is back after a few challenging years and the value of the networking, collaboration and learnings gained from being together in-person cannot be underestimated.”

Neufang continued: “And there’s more to look forward to with our other GBTA events coming up around the globe including in Mexico City in October, Brussels in November and Bangkok in December.”

Key highlights from GBTA Convention 2022:

  • GBTA unveiled its new brand on the Main Stage, including a new look and logo to represent the changes and future focus of the association. The new logo and tagline “Many Voices, One Purpose” represents the collective, global and diverse voices of GBTA’s members coming together to shape the future of the industry.
  • GBTA hosted its first-ever Sustainability Pavilion and presented engaging Green Talks on key sustainability topics and featured sustainability experts in the Green Village exhibition space. A dozen chief sustainability officers from the industry’s largest supplier companies were among those educating, debating and networking. In addition to other “going greener” efforts, GBTA offset all carbon emissions from the Convention event and related staff travel for an estimated 835 metric tons.
  • The event featured 300 speakers including 90 educational sessions to provide attendees with information, insights and learnings across a wide-ranging number of topics including “Managing Travel’s Carbon Footprint,” “The Workforce Revolution,” and “Accounting for Inclusion: DEI and Cultural Fit.”
  • The WINiT by GBTA Summit, was a standing-room-only event which engaged, inspired and challenged industry professionals of all levels with the sole mission to positively ignite the careers and lives of women in travel-related industries.
  • Neufang reported on the newly released key data from the GBTA Business Travel Index™ and the 2023 Pricing Forecast along with key trends to watch. This was followed by a fireside chat with Robert Isom, CEO, American Airlines.
  • Sustainability keynote, Ryan Panchadsaram, Technical Advisor to the Chairman, Kleiner Perkins and co-author of Speed & Scale, discussed climate change and efforts to improve sustainability practices for the business travel industry focusing on what’s happening today and what’s on the horizon.
  • GBTA released its latest GBTA Business Travel Index 2022-2026 (made possible by MasterCard) which revealed that although the global business travel industry continues its progress towards getting back to pre-pandemic spending levels of USD $1.4 trillion, recovery has hit some headwinds. Changes to macroeconomic conditions are impacting the timing, trajectory and pace of business travel’s recovery, both globally and by region, pushing the forecast for full recovery into 2026 instead of 2024 as previously forecasted. GBTA members can download the 2022 GBTA BTI* on the GBTA members-only hub. (The report is also available for purchase – reach out to [email protected] for more details.)
  • The GBTA-CWT Global Business Travel Forecast 2023 showed global travel pricing increases are set to continue in 2022 and throughout 2023. Rising fuel prices, labor shortages, and inflationary pressures in raw material costs are the primary drivers of the expected price growth, according to the report, which uses anonymized data generated by CWT and GBTA, with publicly available industry information, and econometric and statistical modeling.
  • A new study “The Evolution of Travel Program Technology” from GBTA and FCM revealed the latest tech trends and   how technology has impacted the travel manager’s role, the traveler experience, and the TMC business.

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