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Global Business Travel Association Annual Convention
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As the ninth-largest city in the country, Dallas is already one of the country's leading hubs for business and innovation, and the Dallas metro area is a top visitor destination in Texas. We're excited for your visit!
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Business Travel Outlook for 2021
Written on March 4, 2021 . Posted in Business Travel , COVID and the new workplace , COVID Business Travel .
As we hit the one-year mark for pandemic shutdowns, what signs of a “new normal” might be on the horizon? What will vaccine rollouts and expansions in rapid testing mean for business travel, in-person meeting attendance and more?
Of course, the present is a very fluid situation, and local restrictions, company policies, surging case numbers or new virus variants could all influence business travel and meeting attendance at any time. Surveys and recent research, though, are pointing to a resurgence in travel by later in 2021. Resumption of business travel is proceeding on a slower timeline than leisure travel, which has recovered to 50% of 2019 levels .
Here are takeaways from a recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) poll, released in January. It was the fourteenth poll issued by the organization since the onset of the pandemic. These polls help to gauge expectations in the current business climate.
- 75% of respondents expect employees to attend in-person meetings and events in Q2 or Q3 2021, with nearly 90% of respondents currently scheduled to attend an event with people outside their company by Q3.
- 87% of respondents to the poll expect to attend internal meetings or events by Q3.
- 39% of respondents are already planning to host or attend meetings or events, while 50% have yet to start on the actual planning process, preferring a wait-and-see approach.
- European GBTA members are slightly more bullish, with 55% currently planning 2021 events. Just over a third of American members are planning as of Q1 2021.
- Attendance at virtual or hybrid events is expected to decline as in-person attendance resumes.
- 90% of buyers and procurement professionals expect spend on business travel in 2021 to be lower than in 2019 as industries recover and health and safety protocols remain in place.
- Sales meetings with customers and prospects will be a high priority in 2021.
Nearly 60% of respondents to the GBTA poll cited vaccine availability as a significant influence shaping their plans to attend events and meetings. As vaccines become more widely available, companies may relax restrictions on travel and attendance once employees have been inoculated.
At DallasHR, current plans are virtual formats for events and education, with plans to move to a hybrid event format as vaccines become more widely available. With so much still up in the air, we will continue to keep members updated with the latest trends.
DallasHR is one of the largest SHRM affiliate chapter in the nation. With more than 2,000 engaged HR professionals, the Chapter has been Advancing the Value of HR since 1939 through cutting-edge education, fun networking events and opportunities to share best practices with others in the field of HR. The Chapter powers The HRSouthwest Conference, one of the largest regional HR events in the U.S. hosting more than 2,400 attendees in Fort Worth annually. DallasHR events are held in both Dallas and Collin Counties. Visit us at dallashr.org to join or hrsouthwest.com to register and follow us at #DALLASHR, #HRSWC.
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» GBTA Convention 2023
Dates: august 13 – 15, location: dallas, tx.
Travel Leaders Corporate will be on-site at the GBTA Convention 2023 in Dallas, TX. Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization. The annual GBTA Convention offers an opportunity for long-term connections and is the place where community, learning, and advocacy all come together for the global business travel industry. For more information or to set up a meeting with one of our experts at the event, please email [email protected] .
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Dallas, TX 13 – 15 August
Our bags are packed and ready (cowboy boots included) to visit Dallas, Texas for GBTA Convention 2023. It’s been a busy year, and we’ve got tons to catch up with you on. Like our new world record , the launch of Smartpoint Cloud , and how we’ve been driving modern retailing forward with Travelport+. Come say hi at booth 831, and we’ll fill you in.
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Who will be there
Meet the leaders behind our business. Our Senior Leadership Team will be on hand to chat, answer any questions, and catch up at booth 831. Reach out to your account manager to set up a meeting at the show.
DRINKS ON US
After an action-packed day at GBTA, join us at the booth for drinks, beginning at 4pm on Monday and 3pm on Tuesday . There’s no need to RSVP, we’d just love for you to stop by and say howdy.
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The GBTA Convention 2023 was held August 13-15 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. More than 5,200 registered participants hailing from 58 different countries attended, bringing together professionals from the industry to learn, connect, and explore new opportunities. More than 1,100 travel buyers representing 600-plus buyer companies, along with more than 300 exhibitors participated in the convention and expo.
Notable topics such as the evolution of the global business travel sector; the future of work; sustainability; and diversity, equity, and inclusion took center stage, highlighting the industry’s focus on current topics in the aftermath of the pandemic. The convention kicked off with a keynote speech by explorer Chris Bashinelli. GBTA disclosed the outcomes of its 2023 elections, naming the new president, Mark Cuschieri, the executive director and global head of travel at UBS, and vice president, Rosemary Maloney, the manager of global travel, expense and card, at Alteryx.
Among the programs available this year, the WINiT by GBTA Summit presented its core mission to empower and enhance the careers and lives of women in travel-related fields. The “Future of the Workforce” panel discussion delved into the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in cultivating a sense of belonging within organizations, and how collective efforts can foster a culture of acceptance and well-being. In alignment with its commitment to sustainability, the GBTA Foundation once again curated a Sustainability Pavilion and related programming. These initiatives introduced imaginative strategies to make business travel more ecologically conscious, environmentally friendly, and sustainable.
GBTA also unveiled the “2023 Business Travel Index Outlook” report in collaboration with Visa. Forecasts indicate that spending will surpass pre-pandemic levels, projected to exceed $1.4 trillion by 2024 and reaching nearly $1.8 trillion by 2027. This represents a faster resurgence of the global business travel than previously anticipated. In 2022, global business travel spending witnessed a 47% increase to reach $1.03 trillion, with robust growth expected to continue, aiming for a 32% surge in 2023.
GBTA Convention 2024 is scheduled to take place in Atlanta, Georgia, from July 22-24, and the 2025 convention will be in Denver, Colorado, from July 23-25.
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Exhibit at GBTA Convention 2024
At GBTA Convention 2024, exhibitors will showcase their latest services and products to business travel professionals during 10 hours in the Expo Hall. Buyers and suppliers count on essential in-person meetings to sustain industry connections and uncover fresh business possibilities at GBTA Convention. Come join us in Atlanta, Georgia, from July 22-24, 2024, and become a part of The Business Travel Event of the Year®.
Are you ready to exhibit at GBTA Convention? Take advantage of resources that will enhance your exhibitor experience.
Ready to sign up for a booth or need expert advice on which location is best for your organization? Fill out the form below or email us at [email protected] and a member of our exhibits team will reach out to you shortly.
Georgia World Congress Center 285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Global Business Travel Association 107 S West St. Suite 762 Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703.684.0836 Fax: 703.783.8686
© 2024 Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)
- Cheryl Hart
- Jul 14, 2020
Will business travel in Dallas-Fort Worth ever be the same?
Source: Dallas Business Journal; Jul 13, 2020, 10:12am EDT
American, Southwest and North Texas corporate travelers are coming to grips with how business travel will change because of COVID-19.
The pandemic has Paul Treangen rethinking things.
Treangen is the CEO of Dallas-based TNW Corp., a shortline railroad operator. Like other companies, TNW embraced technology during the time of COVID-19. Some changes, he thinks, might even be permanent.
“I anticipate less business travel for TNW in the future,” Treangen said.
As companies like TNW and others across North Texas embrace videoconferencing technologies, some wonder how much it can take out of the business travel market going forward. If people get used to jumping on Zoom or Skype to talk with a client across the country, will they get back on a plane to conduct the same meeting after the pandemic is over?
Air travel demand fell off a cliff in March because of COVID-19. Four months later, leisure travel is coming back faster than business travel, said Jeff Pelletier, managing director of Dallas-based Airline Data Inc. This is evidenced by airlines adding capacity to leisure markets like Florida, Las Vegas and the Rocky Mountains. Before businesses start traveling again they will open up offices — something that hasn’t happened yet for many people.
“Even in my own industry, many of my meetings are now virtual even though we are travel professionals,” Pelletier said.
The question of when business travel comes back impacts North Texas greatly, which is home to two of world’s largest airlines in addition to a host of Fortune 500 giants.
Major corporate traveler customers in Dallas-Fort Worth contacted for this story like AT&T, Toyota North America, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies said employees haven’t resumed traveling, except for a few critical positions. It’s unclear how or if major corporate players in North Texas will alter their business travel strategy after the pandemic.
“Regarding post-COVID adjustments, we are actively assessing any permanent adjustments,” said Ken Ross, spokesperson for Lockheed Martin, which employs over 22,000 people in North Texas. “Too soon to say what may change.”
Importance of business travel
Economies of the world’s largest countries boomed and annual global travel spend, which includes air travel, hotels and food, steadily rose past $1 trillion last decade, according to the Global Business Travel Association.
Dallas-Fort Worth is an airline town. Between American Airlines’ and Southwest Airlines’ corporate headquarters and major airports locally, the two carriers employ 43,000 people in North Texas.
How quickly business travel returns will have a major effect on airline earnings, as corporate clients book expensive overseas, refundable or last-minute tickets. Last year, United Airlines accidentally revealed that Apple spends $150 million on flights annually with the airline.
Fifteen percent of global travelers are corporate, but 40 percent of airline revenues come from the corporate sector, said Mark Manduca, a travel industry analyst at Citigroup.
“A 1 percent movement in corporate travel volumes impacts airline profitability by 10 percent,” Manduca said. “That means that airlines are going to be unprofitable for the next few years.”
Videoconferencing here to stay?
With offices shuttered and conferences cancelled, people have embraced videoconferencing technologies. Tools like Skype and Zoom aren’t new, but managers’ hands have been forced without the ability to connect with employees and clients face-to-face.
Hank Benedetti, American’s global head of Corporate Travel, isn’t worried that the proliferation of videoconferencing will take a scoop out of business travel market share going forward. Why? Look at the past.
“There’s been no technological development in history that has inhibited travel,” Benedetti said. “Whether it’s the telegraph, telephone, fax, email and even videoconferencing. Videoconferencing existed before COVID. The truth is none of those things ever diminished demand for travel permanently.”
Benedetti said corporate travel is down 85-90 percent for American year-over-year, but some industries are starting to creep back like energy and defense contractors. There’s also a trend emerging between large and small companies.
“The smaller the business, the more likely they will continue to travel, if they traveled before,” Benedetti said. “The larger the business, the less likely they are to be traveling just because they can weather this.”
Return timing uncertain
When business travel does return, there’s a thought it won’t be gradual. That’s because businesses will generally start flying around the same time, said Doug Parker, American’s CEO and chairman, in May.
“I don’t want to sound too bullish on things none of us know. But what I do believe is once business starts to return, that’s not going to be that gradual,” Parker said during an industry conference. “Once business starts to return, business will return.”
Nailing down when that return will happen is difficult. Cases of COVID-19 have flared up in states like Arizona, Texas and Florida recently, and the U.S. as a whole keeps reporting record new cases of COVID-19 nationwide.
Before these last few weeks, Holly Hegeman thought business travel would start to return in September. Hegeman, a travel expert and founder of industry blog PlaneBusiness Banter, is now unsure of that return date.
“The airline industry is pretty much at the mercy of the increase in the number of infections,” Hegeman said. “If you had asked me two weeks ago, I would have held to that September date. The other thing of course are corporate events and people fly to those corporate events. They’d already postponed them to the fall, and now everything’s getting pushed back to 2021.”
Southwest looks to strike
Southwest has never been a big player in business travel. It doesn’t fly to international corporate hotbeds like Europe or Asia and it’s famous for its lack of a first class.
But that mentality of simply ceding the corporate flyer to American, United Airlines or Delta Air Lines is changing. Southwest made major investments to its corporate travel arm, Southwest Business, by improving technology and building its account manager headcount from 20 people to about 170.
“Hasn’t changed at all,” said Dave Harvey, vice president of Southwest Business, when asked if the airline’s plans around beefing up its corporate travel department have been altered because of COVID-19. He said the company is even ahead of schedule on some developments.
“It actually allowed us to get a little bit more focus and resource investment faster,” Harvey added. “With this being a big strategic priority for Southwest Airlines, it’s allowed us to get these things over the finish line with that much more sense of urgency.”
Those technology improvements include coming online with Travelport’s Worldspan and Apollo global distribution systems. Partnering with these GDSs give travel managers greater flexibility when booking or changing flights for their clients, and is key to penetrating the corporate travel market.
COVID-19 could actually present an opportunity for Southwest. When the economy worsens, that’s when businesses start taking a harder look at things like business travel strategy. With new investments coming online, Harvey thinks Southwest is set up to capture market share.
“This is relatively untapped potential for Southwest because we haven’t made the investments like some of the other guys in some of these distribution capabilities, as well as the sales team to go win the business,” Harvey said. “This is the highest-yielding customer. They’re going to buy a lot more of our refundable tickets because they need the flexibility. So, it’s a big step change and one of the most significant growth opportunities we have as a carrier in the next five-year horizon.”
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