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ACU Says ATC Reform Isn't Privatization, but That's Probably a Good Thing

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·16 October 2017
When reading the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) recent op-ed in The Hill, “’Conservative’ air traffic control bill fails to privatize industry”, I couldn’t decide if ACU’s opposition is a good thing. ACU’s support hinges on its “Seven Principles of Privatization,” essentially a guide for lawmakers to privatize for the sake of privatizing. Broad-brush principles seldom make for good policy, and as much as we would like to boil complex problems down to seven words or principles, it simply doesn’t work. But the ACU makes a good point – the 21st Century AIRR Act is not privatization. It’s a detailed prescription for a larger goal: improving our nation’s air traffic control.

Global Business Travelers Identify Top Challenges They Face on the Road

GBTA ·12 October 2017
Alexandria, VA -- Time spent in transit is the most challenging aspect of business travel, according to a new report released today by the GBTA Foundation - the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association. Layovers, changing a flight or train reservation mid-trip, the work environment while traveling and preparing expense reports also topped the list of most challenging aspects for North American business travelers.The study, Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience - North America, conducted in partnership with Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), identifies the main challenges business travelers face during their travel experience while also looking to understand what organizations are doing to make this experience a better one for their travelers. The top pain points all have one thing in common - they are time consuming. Given that 72 percent of business travelers are middle management or higher, it is not surprising that they are concerned about losing time or having an adequate work environment."It is no secret that business travel drives business growth and face-to-face interactions help get business done," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. "Ultimately those who travel want to save time when possible, be productive and have a pleasant experience while accomplishing their business goals. A better understanding of the challenges business travelers face can help organizations better serve their road warriors as they work to provide the right tools, resources and policies.""With advances in technology, corporate travelers are plugged in and connected more than ever before. While the technology is out there, this report demonstrates that we still have work do to make corporate travel more seamless, reducing the number of apps and tools needed to organize their trip, while also optimizing compliance and reducing costs," said Wade Jones, executive vice president and president, Sabre Travel Network. "It is critical we organize and align our resources to execute on integrating technology into a sustainable, data-rich platform that supports the business travel experience across the spectrum of planning and booking to reconciling expenses at the end of the journey."Why Does the Business Travel Experience Matter?Business travel can have a considerable impact on employee satisfaction and retention as more than three-quarters (79 percent) of business travelers say their business travel experience impacts their overall job satisfaction at least somewhat. This is especially true among Millennials (88 percent). Business travel not only influences how employees feel about their current company, it can also influence whether they take a job in the first place. Nearly three in five (59 percent) indicate a company's travel policy is an important factor when considering a potential new employer. Additionally, the vast majority of travelers (84 percent) say the quality of their business travel experience impacts their business results at least somewhat.Improving the Traveler ExperienceWhen asked what perks or amenities impact their business travel experience the most, convenient and comfortable hotels topped the list for business travelers followed by non-stop flights, booking flexibility and paid time off for long trips. Looking at optional purchases business travelers make on their own to improve their experience is also telling. These include hotel high-speed internet, airplane/train Wi-Fi, seat upgrades and early boarding. Travelers most often mention that these purchases help them improve their productivity on the road.Technology also makes an important contribution to business traveler satisfaction, enabling a more efficient travel process. Business travelers indicated a variety of technological amenities would enhance their travel experience with automated destination info, mobile expense reporting, itinerary management apps, safety tracking app and mobile payment topping the list. Millennials and Gen-Xers are far more likely than Baby Boomers to mention mobile payment. Mobile expense reporting and safety apps also top the list for the younger groups as well.Around the GlobeThe GBTA Foundation, in partnership with Sabre, also surveyed business travelers in Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America. While there are many similarities among business travelers around the world, there are also several key differences.For a release focused on each region, please click here: Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America.More InformationThe report, Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience - North America, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by Insights Deck featuring global and regional insights on how to create a frictionless travel experience is available at The GBTA Foundation and Sabre will host four regional webinars on this research. The webinars will focus on how the travel experience impacts overall job satisfaction of employees; understanding what key areas have the most impact on overall satisfaction with business travel; and identifying technology and travel policies that help drive and enhance traveler well-being.Register today:Europe - Monday, November 6 at 9am ETAsia Pacific - Wednesday, November 15 at 6am ETLatin America - Wednesday, November 15 at 9am ET (presented in Spanish)The Americas - Wednesday, November 15 at 2pm ETMethodologyThe GBTA Foundation used a mixed-methods approach for data collection, consisting of an online survey of business travelers and in-depth interviews of travel buyers, travel management companies and human resource personnel in four different regions: Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. Survey data was collected between March 28 and April 8, 2017, and 20 in-depth interviews were conducted between May 8 and June 2, 2017.About SabreSabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre's software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of estimated travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.
Article by Monica Sanchez

Business Travel's Influence On Employee Retention, Recruitment And Results

GBTA ·12 October 2017
RetentionSatisfaction when traveling for work is highly correlated with how satisfied an employee is with their job in general. In North America, three-quarters (79 percent) of business travelers say their business travel experience impacts their overall job satisfaction at least somewhat. This is especially true among Millennials (88 percent). In Europe that number sits at 83 percent for all business travelers and 88 percent for Millennials. In the Asia Pacific region, a large majority of business travelers say their business travel experience impacts their overall job satisfaction at least somewhat across all Asia Pacific markets, ranging from 81 to 96 percent. In Latin America, the connection is even stronger with 71 percent of business travelers saying their business travel experience impacts their overall job satisfaction to a great extent.RecruitmentBusiness travel not only influences how employees feel about their current company, it can also influence whether they take a job in the first place. Nearly three in five (59 percent) North American respondents and two-thirds (66 percent) of Latin American respondents indicate a company's travel policy is an important factor when considering a potential new employer. The number is a bit lower in Europe with half saying a company's travel program is an important factor when considering a potential new employer and in Asia Pacific it varies widely from country to country ranging from 31 percent in Japan to 86 percent in India.ResultsAn overwhelming majority (95 percent) of business travelers in Latin America say the quality of their business travel experience impacts their business results at least somewhat. The numbers are pretty similar no matter where you go in the world. In North America it is 84 percent, in Europe it is 83 percent and the vast majority of Asia Pacific travelers say the quality of their business travel experience impacts their business results at least somewhat as well, ranging from 81 to 96 percent depending on the country.What does this all mean for the travel manager? Traveler well-being initiatives and other policies and processes that not only have cost in mind, but the traveler's well-being, will go a long way to help employee retention. Keep an organization's culture and business goals in mind while setting policies that help the traveler achieve their business goals when traveling. Policies should both support the organization's overall goals and also enable employees to be the most productive and efficient they can be while traveling for work.For more from the report, GBTA members can download Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience for free on the GBTA Hub.

After the Hurricane: An Overview of Hidden Health Risks

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·10 October 2017
The following post is written by Reade Bush, PA-C, Assistant Medical Director, Generali Global Assistance on behalf of the GBTA Risk Committee. Three recent hurricanes that struck Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico, have left many short- and long-term health effects which will make for a very difficult recovery process. In the first days of a hurricane, most of the deaths are from drowning, trauma due to structural collapse or downed trees, electrocution, or fire, which may be fed by natural gas leaks.

Integrating Your Corporate Travel and Meetings Programs

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA· 5 October 2017
If you actually take the time to develop and design an integrated meetings and corporate travel program for your organization, you take the real prize: a seat with the top executives at your company. Along the way, you develop skill sets and insight that will only elevate your professional career to new heights… and I almost forgot about the fun part; the people, knowledge and the friendships you will develop in this journey will be worth every step; backwards (yes…hate to tell you, you may have to go backwards sometimes) and forward.
Article by Marianne Varkiani

Top 5 TMC questions asked and answered

GBTA ·25 September 2017
The GBTA Foundation partnered with U.S. Bank to outline the considerations involved in choosing a TMC.Do I need a TMC?Overall, it would be very difficult to manage a travel program without partnering with a travel management company (TMC). If your travel spend is over $250,000 annually and/or large enough to negotiate with airlines and hotels, your program will likely benefit from retaining the services of a TMC.What value does a TMC bring to my travel program?TMCs can add value to your travel program in a number of important ways. Data tracking and spend reporting provides a better understanding of the volume of business conducted with each supplier, giving you greater leverage at the negotiating table. When TMCs manage preferred booking channels, agents know when tickets are booked and reservations are made. This allows for the value of unused tickets or missed reservations to be reclaimed and for travelers to have a direct line to assistance should travel mishaps or changes occur. TMCs also help travel managers stay informed of industry trends by providing access to resources and education to ensure company policies fully address the needs of their travelers.How much savings can I expect from using a TMC?A TMC can help save organizations anywhere from 5% to 50% of its travel spend, depending on the starting maturity of your travel program and the volume of your travel. Partnering with a TMC can help travel managers steer travelers to preferred vendors offering pre-negotiated rates. Though programs just starting out have a greater potential for savings, a TMC can still help a more mature program reign in out-of-policy travelers and save money. Using TMC-captured data on traveler behavior enables you to offer more accurate volume projections and negotiate lower rates with suppliers. It is important to keep your company's culture in mind when bringing on a TMC -- getting stakeholder support and clearly communicating the logic behind new practices to your travelers is paramount. Compared to travel programs with mere guidelines, those with fully-mandated travel policies report greater success and savings.How much will it cost to retain the services of a TMC?While some companies pay TMCs a flat monthly management fee assessed on a case-by-case basis, by far, the most common fee structure for a TMC is per transaction. These transaction fees vary widely (e.g. $5 for hotel and car reservations made online to $35 for an international flight made by calling an agent). Typically, airline bookings are more expensive than hotel or ground transportation reservations, international flights are more expensive than domestic, and calling an agent is more expensive than booking through a TMC's online channel. Travel managers should clearly communicate these differences to travelers in order to minimize superfluous expenses, like calling an agent to make a simple reservation when a booking online would suffice. While it is tempting to balk at the expense of a fee tacked on to every transaction, it is important to remember this charge covers all the services the TMC provides, not just the single transaction.There are a lot of TMCs; how do I pick the right one for my program?The first step in choosing a TMC is to internally determine your top five or ten goals for your travel program, like increasing traveler tracking and security, better capturing spend data, or securing better-negotiated rates with suppliers. Once you have defined your goals, start having conversations with TMCs, explain your programmatic objectives, and listen to their plans for helping you achieve them. Be sure to include TMCs of different sizes and scopes in these initial discussions - these factors can play a role in the strategy they develop for you.For example, if your organization does a lot of international travel, you may want to look for a global TMC or a TMC with many global partners. While a large TMC may have many partners, a smaller TMC may be able to be more nimble to accommodate your specific needs and goals. Based on the information gathered, narrow the field down to five or fewer candidates and continue with more detailed discussions. A relationship with a TMC should be based on transparency. Any TMC worth working with should walk you through their customized roadmap for your program and thoroughly explain the logic behind their recommendations, including what each party stands to gain or lose. Each side must be honest and realistic with the other about their goals and abilities in order to foster a successful, mutually beneficial partnership.Click here to open the document.

Travel Ban Expanded to Include Chad, North Korea and Venezuela

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·25 September 2017
Yesterday the President and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced enhanced global security measures that included adding Chad, North Korea and Venezuela to the list of countries subject to travel restrictions. Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia are again included in this order, while restrictions placed on the Sudan have been lifted.

Top 5 TMC Questions Asked and Answered

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·19 September 2017
In 2016, organizations invested significantly in business travel, with global business travel spend approaching $1.3 trillion. However, as companies increasingly invest in business travel, they must equally invest in a managed travel program that balances employee needs with corporate goals. Unraveling the intricacies of travel management can be daunting without a travel management company in tow, so the GBTA Foundation partnered with U.S. Bank to outline the considerations involved in choosing a TMC.

GBTA Announces Partnership with MPI to Deliver New Meeting and Event Education Track at Upcoming Conference

GBTA ·18 September 2017
London -- The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) - the voice of the global business travel industry - and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) today announced the two associations are collaborating to present meeting and event focused education at GBTA Conference 2017 Frankfurt in Partnership with VDR, taking place in Frankfurt, 28-30 November.GBTA's European Meetings Committee, in partnership with MPI, will deliver four engaging educational sessions during the conference, sharing best practices from companies across the globe as well as industry-leading case studies.The educations sessions will include:How the West is Won: Success Stories from Optimized Meetings & Events Programs: This session will focus on recent research on Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) trends and forecasts and how best to capitalize on these trends in 2017 and beyond.Measuring the ROI of Learning: A learning event includes experiences that facilitate gaining knowledge, skills, attitudes and/or behaviours. This session provides a best fit, pragmatic approach for measuring the ROI of learning that can be adapted to a wide range of contexts and learner types.Travel Management Meets Meeting Management: This session provides a step by step practical guide on how to manage a combined meetings and travel spend to benefit your organisation. The session will include guidance from travel managers who have already taken on this responsibility.The Meeting of the Future: This session will look at technology disruptors affecting the meetings space and what meetings may look like 20 years from now."We are delighted to be working with MPI," said Catherine McGavock, GBTA Regional Vice President - EMEA. "Our members have identified meetings and events as a growing part of their portfolio and this new partnership addresses their needs for specialized education and expertise in this area. As a global association, MPI has the international experience to help travel managers and buyers effectively manage their meetings and events business.""MPI looks forward to sharing our meetings and events expertise during GBTA Conference 2017. The business travel professionals that attend these sessions will learn key industry trends and gain actionable advice that can be immediately applied to their business," said Matthew Marcial, CAE, CMP, Vice President, Education & Events at MPI.GBTA Conference 2017 Frankfurt in Partnership with VDR is Europe's largest business travel conference. Over 1,000 business travel professionals from around the world will gather in Germany's financial capital for state-of-the-art education on the industry's most pressing issues, exclusive networking opportunities and announcements on the latest products and services by the world's leading suppliers.This year's theme, Convergence, was developed to address the industry-wide disruption caused by the merging of various functions, roles and policies. From the changing role of the travel manager to the emergence of new and transformation of existing players in the market, these disrupters have paved the way for the evolution of business travel. For more information, please visit:

A Look Back at GBTA Convention

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·12 September 2017
Although GBTA Convention 2017 came to an end nearly two months ago, it’s still fresh on our minds. Our 49th annual Convention in Boston brought together nearly 7,000 travel professionals and industry leaders and featured over 400 exhibitors, including nearly 100 first-time exhibitors. We had a chance to speak to a handful of first-time exhibitors about their experience and why they decided to exhibit at The Business Travel Event of the Year®.

What Everyone New to Managed Travel Should Know

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA· 5 September 2017
Travel management encompasses a variety of industry players: non-profit corporations, hoteliers, small and medium-sized enterprises, airlines, travel management companies, data consolidators, consultants that act as a liaison between buyers and suppliers – the list goes on and on. Despite the wealth of available information, diving into managed travel as an individual with little to no experience can certainly be intimidating. GBTA recently hosted a webinar in which GoldSpring Consulting’s Mark Williams provided an overview of what individuals new to managed travel should focus their efforts on.

Help GBTA Members Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·29 August 2017
By now, most of you have seen numerous news stories of the historic flooding in Houston and surrounding areas in recent days. As a Houston area resident, my heart goes out to all that are impacted by the devastation resulting from Hurricane Harvey. As travel professionals, we are all familiar with the care and caution exercised to keep our travelers safe on the road no matter what circumstances they face. The business travel community has a unique resiliency, and has repeatedly showcased the ability to come together and stand strong in the face of many adverse situations from terrorist attacks to natural disasters.

GBTA Kicks off India Conference in New Delhi

GBTA ·18 August 2017
New Delhi -- The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)--the voice of the global business travel industry, kicked off GBTA Conference 2017 New Delhi today as part of its India Conference Series 2017. The annual flagship education and networking event for GBTA India, the conference will deliver a knowledge forum on best practices across the business travel lifecycle through a mix of panel discussions and presentations.During the one-day event, Gaurav Sundaram, GBTA India Regional Director, will present the GBTA Foundation's outlook for the Indian business travel market and will lead a CXO Roundtable on the future of business travel in India. The day will also feature sessions on the implementation of the Goods & Services Tax and its impact on business travel, the travel industry's most innovative solutions and ideas, employee mobility, hotel contracting and smart buying strategies with airlines.An awards presentation will also take place for two of GBTA India's advisory board members who were honored with the prestigious Business Travel Professional Service Award during GBTA Convention 2017 last month in Boston. Mritunjaya Chandra Mohan, Regional Travel Manager (INDIA,JAPAC,EMEA) - Global Procurement, Adobe Systems, and Arif Patel, Vice President Sales, Marketing, Distribution & Loyalty, Accor Hotels, are the first ever Indian recipients of this award.The award is reserved for a select group of experienced travel professionals who have distinguished themselves as industry leaders. These professionals have devoted themselves to GBTA through their region or chapter. They stand out at their jobs, and they are recognised leaders within the industry.Mritunjaya has been a member of the India advisory board since its inception last year and his valuable contributions have helped develop and deliver the initial symposium as also the workshop series in India. He is recognised by his peers for building strong collaborative relationships with industry partners and for implementing the most innovative elements into his company's business travel program.Arif is a founding advisory board member of GBTA in India and his unqualified support was critical in ensuring our successful inaugural 2016 event in New Delhi. He has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry in South Asia and has independently conducted research used by hotel operators, investors and trade analysts to evaluate the feasibility of a hotel in relation to the air capacity within its geography, within India.GBTA Conference 2017 New Delhi is being held at the Hotel Pullman New Delhi Aerocity today, August 18, 2017. Follow the conference on twitter using #GBTANewDelhi and view the full agenda here.

Today's Geopolitical Climate and Innovation Top of Mind at GBTA Convention 2017

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·27 July 2017
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry, wrapped up its 49th annual Convention last week in Boston. Today’s geopolitical landscape and its impact on business travel and duty of care along with the latest innovations in travel technology were the predominant themes throughout the five-day industry gathering that brought together nearly 7,000 travel professionals and industry leaders.

TSA Announces New U.S. Airport Screening Procedures for Electronics in Carry-On Bags

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·26 July 2017
Today, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the implementation of stronger screening procedures for carry-on items that require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. This follows extensive testing and successful pilots at 10 airports, and will now expand to all U.S. airports during the weeks and months ahead. We have heard from many of you, our members, that travelers will be willing to spend extra time at security to prevent an outright electronics ban, so we are pleased to see TSA taking steps to enhance security, while still ensuring business travelers can keep their devices with them throughout their flight. While security is, of course, the top priority, business travelers want to remain productive on trips, and more importantly have been trained to keep their devices close for security purposes because they may contain sensitive company information.

A Look at the Future of Lodging

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·25 July 2017
With the growth of home-sharing platform Airbnb, traditional hotel chains have had to take a step back and rediscover what makes them unique. This was the topic of conversation at GBTA Convention 2017’s Lodging Panel, moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest. Representing hoteliers was AccorHotels’ Senior VP of Global Sales, Markus Keller, and NH Hotel Groups CCO, Fernando Vives. David Holyoke, Head of Business Travel for Airbnb spoke for the rapidly expanding home-sharing industry. The panel began with all parties saying that there is room for everyone in the hospitality industry. “The customer is going to decide where they spend the night,” Vives said.

Forecasting the Future of Flight with Delta's Ed Bastian

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·24 July 2017
“When I graduated from college, I never even had set foot on an airplane,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian told the crowd in his first appearance on Center Stage at GBTA Convention 2017. Bastian is now the head of one of the largest global airlines and spoke with GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick about what the future looks like for Delta and the travel industry as a whole.

Strength in Global Economy Means Higher Travel Pricing in 2018

GBTA ·21 July 2017
BOSTON -- According to the 2018 Global Travel Forecast, travel prices are expected to rise sharply in the coming year, reaching nearly 4 percent increases in some sectors. Released today, the fourth annual forecast, by the GBTA Foundation in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation, shows global airfares are expected to rise 3.5 percent in 2018; hotel prices are expected to be 3.7 percent higher; and ground transportation such as taxis, trains and buses are expected to rise only 0.6 percent - significantly less than the 3 percent inflation forecast for 2018. "Geopolitical risks, uncertainties in emerging markets and ever-changing political environments in Europe and the United States mean today's travel professionals have more than ever to take into account when building their travel programs," said Jeanne Liu, GBTA Foundation vice president of research. "The most successful programs will have to keep a watchful eye on both geopolitical risks and a rapidly-changing supplier landscape as they reevaluate strategy often and adapt as necessary." "The higher pricing is a reflection of the stronger economy and growing demand," said Kurt Ekert, president and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. "The global numbers from this forecast should be considered strong leading indicators of what 2018 will mean for global businesses, as we anticipate higher spending." 2018 Air Projections The rise in global airfares comes as crude oil prices rise, in spite of airlines adding an expected 6 percent capacity in 2018. Complicating airline pricing is increased segmentation of basic fares among large carriers, as travelers now have the option of choosing a basic economy, restricted fare versus various upgraded fares, with specific service options and pricing varying by airline. Asia Pacific expects to see a 2.8 percent rise in 2018 pricing with domestic demand increasing, particularly in China and India. However, as many of the economies in Asia strengthen, weaknesses in infrastructure - and airports in particular - are increasingly becoming apparent.Across EMEA, air travel is anticipated to continue growing, with prices rising a whopping 7.1 percent across Eastern Europe and 5.5 percent in Western Europe. However, Middle East and African countries only expect a 3 percent increase as they face ongoing security threats and an oil industry that is still in recovery. Currency fluctuations in Europe may further impact airfares in 2018. Given limited competition and the upcoming summer 2018 World Cup Soccer tournament in Russia, Eastern Europe may again have the most significant price increases in the region.Across Latin America and the Caribbean, prices are expected to change little in 2018 - up only 0.3 percent. Airlines have cautiously added capacity back into the market. Broader analysis of South America shows a 20 percent increase in scheduled flights by the end of 2019. Low cost carriers are well positioned for this area given the low penetration in the region. And, new, more efficient aircraft coming into in operation will lower operating costs in 2018.North America will see prices rise by a modest 2.3 percent, according to our projections. Citing the potential for stronger U.S. travel restrictions, flights to the United States have already been reduced accordingly. Canadian airlines are expected to aggressively compete given new market entrants and capacity growth of about 11 percent in 2017 and 12 percent in 2018. With the region's air travel market nearly flat year-over-year in early 2017, competition is fierce between carriers who now compete on branded fares rather than on bundled fares or by carrier type. 2018 Hotel Projections Globally, the 3.7 percent average increase in hotel prices masks what is actually happening on a regional level. Europe is expected to post strong increases, while other regions are barely keeping up with inflation. Additionally, prices are expected to fall in Latin America and the Caribbean. We expect the impact of the 2017 mergers will be felt during the 2018 RFP season.Suppliers are progressively moving corporate buyers away from fixed, negotiated hotel rates and toward dynamic rate pricing. There is also a global trend towards "smarter" hotels, with hotels investing in beacon technologies, messaging, in-room entertainment and more. Increasingly tech-savvy guests will use apps to check in and out, unlock their hotel room door, operate the television remotely and control room temperature. Across Asia Pacific, hotel prices are likely to rise 3.5 percent - with a large discrepancy as Japanese prices are expected to fall 4.1 percent, but New Zealand is set to rise a full 9.8 percent. Strong economies means demand is increasing in the APAC region. Buyers should anticipate a more challenging discussion with newly merged hotel groups, especially in high-volume markets such as Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore.Across EMEA, hotel prices are likely to rise - 6.6 percent in Eastern Europe, 6.3 percent in Western Europe, but only a modest 0.6 percent in the Middle East and Africa. Norway is expected to lead with increases of 14 percent expected for 2018, while Russian hotel prices will rise 11.9 percent thanks to increased demand from hosting the 2018 Summer World Cup.Revenue per available room growth is expected for most major cities across Europe in 2018, with Porto and Budapest leading the pack. With its halt on hotel construction, Barcelona may join the top five cities for occupancy rates, while Amsterdam has implemented a "hotel stop" policy to limit new hotel development. Dublin is increasing supply through 2020. There has been a large increase in upscale hotel transactions in the United Arab Emirates as oil prices start rising again. Use of sharing economy players will remain limited as governments tighten control.Within Latin America, hotel prices are expected to fall 1.2 percent, with steep declines in Brazil (down 8.7 percent) and Argentina (down 2.3 percent). However, Peru (7.7 percent) and Chile (5.5 percent) are expected to see increases. Buyers may see efficiencies in 2018 as bigger brands purchase independents and upgrade systems. Capacity is being added throughout the region with an estimated 449,500 new hotel rooms being constructed between late 2016 and 2025 - a huge 57 percent increase in supply. Sharing economy accommodations are still not very popular for corporate travel in Latin America, given structural security concerns.North American hoteliers may be banking on economic growth as demand has leveled off since mid-summer 2016 - but supply is expected to continue growing steadily through 2018. With international travel projected to grow 4 percent in 2017 and 2018, U.S. hotel growth is expected to be concentrated primarily along with the West Coast and in Washington D.C. In Canada, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are expected to maintain good pricing power amid a weak Canadian dollar. 2018 Ground Transportation Projections Ground transportation pricing is expected to rise only 0.6 percent in 2018 (but 5.5 percent by 2022). Industry experts predict record new car sales over the next five years, pushing up per unit fleet costs, while used car pricing is expected to fall 50 percent, hurting residual value for used rental cars and making current rental car pricing unsustainable. Market-specific regulations for curbing emissions, and rising oil prices have suppliers' already increasing availability of "green" rental cars. Sharing economy players such as Uber and Lyft are expected to continue double-digit growth upwards of 10 percent in 2018, before settling down into single-digit growth for 2019. Their growth is under threat by costly regulation and government bans. Continued uncertainty in mining, and a cautious recovery in the oil and gas industry will result in flat rates for 2018 in Asia Pacific. Business continues to grow in China as most major car rental and sharing economy suppliers have a presence. Sharing economy suppliers Didi Chuxing in China, Ola in India and Grab in Southeast Asia have all achieved economies of scale that make them key competitors to more traditional car rentals firms and taxis. Meanwhile, Malaysia and Singapore are pushing ahead with a high-speed rail line from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Construction is not expected to be complete until 2026, but figures to strongly compete when finished.Ground transportation remains very competitive in EMEA. Prices are expected to remain mostly flat in Europe, and up a meager 1 percent across the Middle East and Africa. Rail continues to be a viable alternative to air travel throughout Europe, especially with enhanced security at airports. The continued expansion of Enterprise, the re-emergence of Budget and the continued impact of new players like Uber and Lyft are all creating downward pricing pressure for 2018. Both Uber and Lyft have been banned in some markets and restricted from airport access in others as governments turn their attention to regulating this new industry segment.Prices are expected to rise slightly (1.0 percent) across Latin America. Brazil and Mexico are anticipating increased demand for car rentals in 2018 as their economies rebound. However, the rental car market there is still heavily fragmented. Uber is betting big on its Latin American business (despite issues in Brazil, Peru and Argentina) - especially after its recent departure from the Chinese market. Regional and international rental companies continue to expand and pricing is expected to stabilize.Canada is expected to see a healthy 4.6 percent increase in 2018, but the overall region will only be up 1.0 percent. Limited railways, along with improved income per capita and increased corporate travel, are expected to push up rental car rates in North America. Still a low-margin business, rental car companies have implemented operational efficiencies and made investments in technology to better manage fleets and improve utilization. Sharing economies continue to grow, but face improved competition from traditional cabs and government regulation.About the 2018 ForecastForecast projections provided by CWT Solutions Group. Data analysis provided by Rockport Analytics. The report, 2018 Global Travel Forecast, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by Download the report.About the Carlson Family FoundationThis report is made possible by the Carlson Family Foundation. Established in 1950, by its founder, Curtis L. Carlson, the Carlson Family Foundation represents the commitment of the Carlson family to give charitably to humanitarian and community affairs. Through investments in education, mentoring, children and youth at risk, youth mentoring, anti-trafficking initiatives, and workforce development programs, the Carlson Family Foundation actively participates in creating strong and healthy communities, and a competitive workforce.

How Turkish Airlines Became the Self-Proclaimed 'King of the Comeback' - A Conversation with Chairman Iker Ayci

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·20 July 2017
Turkish Airlines has been named “Europe’s Best Airline” for the past six years, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t had their challenges. A terrorist attack on one of their airports in 2016 led to 45 deaths and more than 230 injuries. At GBTA Convention 2017, Chairman of Turkish Airlines, Iker Ayci, spoke with GBTA COO Mike McCormick about the tragedy and how the company maintained their composure in order to secure the airport.

GBTA Convention Panel Discusses Geopolitical Disruptions and the Future of Global Business Travel

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·18 July 2017
In the modern travel world, political tension has an immense impact on travel policies and the way businesses conduct transportation on a global scale. During Monday’s Center Stage Panel at GBTA Convention 2017, global business experts discussed the two main geopolitical disruptions we face today alongside moderator Courtney Hammond, Principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Business Travel Responsible for $547 Billion in U.S. GDP in 2016, Creates Over 7.4 Million Jobs

GBTA ·17 July 2017
The economic impact study found that in 2016, the nation's businesses spent $424 billion to send travelers out on the road for 514.4 million domestic business trips. The business travel industry supports 7.4 million jobs and generated $135 billion in federal, state and local taxes. Much of business travel's contribution to the economy accrues directly to industries that serve business travelers, but their supply chain beneficiaries received an additional indirect contribution of $132 billion."Business travel matters - it is a critical driver of the economy," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO. "In a time where many policies have created uncertainty and disruption around travel, this study shows the importance of enacting pro-travel polices to our nation's bottom line.""The way that people and companies conduct business has undergone transformative, digitally-led changes in the past 20 years. Yet, the U.S. Business Travel Economic Impact Report shows that face to face interaction enabled by business travel remains a critical business tool," said David Reimer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, North America, American Express Global Business Travel. "Today's modern business travelers want access to all content, to the best personalized rates and fares, and via consumerized channels. To sustain business travel's economic impact, our industry must continue to evolve to meet the needs of these travelers."Breaking Down the Business TripIn 2016, the average amount spent per business fell 2.2 percent to $520, including $163 on lodging, $180 on transportation, $94 on food and beverages in restaurants, $33 on entertainment and $50 on shopping and merchandise. These averages include both domestic and international inbound trips, as well as both day and overnight trips.Roughly half (48 percent) of U.S. business trips were taken for transient purposes (sales trips, client services, government and military travel and travel for construction or repair), while 28 percent were taken for group travel purposes. The remaining 25 percent of trips were taken for a combination of business and leisure. Three-quarters of the business trips taken in the United States in the last year included an overnight stay. Nearly 40 percent of business trips included a 1-2 night stay, 22 percent included a 3-4 night stay and 14 percent included stays of 5+ nights.A personal car or truck (35 percent) was the most popular mode of transportation among U.S. business travelers in 2016, followed by airplane (28 percent) and rental cars (13 percent). The largest share of business travel stays was in traditional hotels (42 percent) with 18 percent staying in other accommodations, including sharing economy properties, their own second home or B&Bs.Popular Business DestinationsDomestic business travel accounted for approximately 94 percent of total trip-oriented business travel spending in the United States in 2016. Not surprisingly the majority of business trips were taken to destinations with higher population densities and states with large business centers. This includes states in the Pacific region, those in the Northwest and Southeast as well as Central and Mountain states like Illinois, Michigan, Texas and Colorado.Defining The Modern Business TravelerU.S. business travelers have an average household income of just over $82,000 and more than 60 percent are men. Just over one-third of U.S. business travelers have obtained a bachelor's degree, while just less than one-third have a graduate or professional degree. They are well distributed across age cohorts - roughly half are under the age of 45 with the other half over the age of 45, and nearly 60 percent are married.More InformationThe report, The U.S. Business Travel Industry: Business Travel's Impact on Jobs and the U.S. Economy in 2016, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing Click here to view a free preview of the research.During GBTA Convention 2017, the GBTA Foundation will host an education session inspired by the research, sponsored by American Express Global Business Travel, focused on how business travel impacts the U.S. economy featuring study highlights. The session will take place on Tuesday, July 18 at 9:30am EST.Methodology: The economic impacts described in this study are based on domestic traveler spending as measured by (1) Longwoods International, the GBTA Foundation and Rockport Analytics; (2) international spending from National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO); and (3) meeting spending derived from The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy. The most recent full year (2016) for all data inputs was analyzed and compared to other economic data from the same period. The IMPLAN model, a non-proprietary economic model that has fast become the defacto industry standard for most economic impact assessments was chosen by the authors as a model of the United States was critical to estimating how traveler spending resounds through the U.S. economy.About American Express Global Business TravelAmerican Express Global Business Travel (GBT) equips companies of all sizes with the insights, tools, services and expertise they need to keep their travelers informed, focused and productive while on the road. With approximately 12,000 employees and operations in nearly 120 countries worldwide, GBT empowers customers to take control of their travel programs, optimizing the return on their travel and meetings investments, while, more importantly, providing extraordinary traveler care.Learn more at and Follow us @ Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (American Express). "American Express Global Business Travel," "American Express," and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express and are used under limited license.About the GBTA FoundationThe GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world's premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. Collectively, GBTA's 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its growing network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media. The Foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA's members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see and

Tools for Identifying Risk Amongst the Noise

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·12 July 2017
Amidst the current global risks, business travel remains vital to the economy. In spite of its importance, it can be challenging to sift through all available data to make responsible company decisions. So how can travel managers successfully navigate this process? At the GBTA Canada Conference in April, COO Mike McCormick spoke with Peter Martin, the Vice Chairman of FocusPoint International, about best practices for risk management.

5 Tips for Navigating GBTA Convention 2017

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·11 July 2017
GBTA Convention 2017 is right around the corner! To prepare you for The Business Travel Event of the Year®, we’ve compiled a list of five tips designed to help you maximize your time in Boston: Order Fast Passes. Skip the lines and gain exclusive access to any one of the Convention Arena Luncheons with GBTA Convention 2017 Fast Passes. Be the first to reserve a table for your colleagues and peers with early access at GBTA Convention 2017.

4 Ways to Optimize Your Employees' Bleisure Travel Experience

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA· 7 July 2017
In 2016, there were 522 million business trips taken in the United States. So what should you do when one of your employees decides to extend one of these into a bleisure trip? If they have decided to take a long weekend to enjoy the sights after their meeting is over, it is now up to you to communicate your company’s policy on bleisure travel to them. As seen in previous posts on the profile of a bleisure traveler and the factors in bleisure travel hotel choice, bleisure travelers are a diverse group of people who continue their stay after a business trip. Thirty-six percent of U.S-based business travelers have done this at least once, so it is important to be prepared when one of your company’s employees decides to take a bleisure trip.

GBTA Unveils Media Day Line-Up for GBTA Convention 2017

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA· 7 July 2017
The business of travel has brought the world within reach, with borders blurring and people intersecting in all corners of the globe. The pace of change is unrelenting, but companies are constantly innovating to meet the changing needs of the industry. GBTA Convention brings the entire industry together making it a “can’t miss” event. Every year there is a spectacular line up of speakers and educational offerings as well as the largest business travel Expo floor and countless networking opportunities, making it truly, the Business Travel Event of the Year.

3 Key Factors in Bleisure Travel Hotel Choice

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·23 June 2017
After someone has decided to extend their work trip into a bleisure trip, they have one more question to answer: will they stay at the same place for both the business and leisure portions of their trip, or choose a new hotel? The GBTA Foundation’s recent study in partnership with Hilton, “Extending Business Travel into Leisure Time”, breaks down the components that go into a traveler’s bleisure lodging plans.


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