Our overseas conference in Noordwijk saw industry leaders spend two days discussing what’s next for the business travel sector. It felt bittersweet for me as it was my last event as part of the organisation, but it was also filled with excitement as we unveiled what’s next for the GTMC as it rebrands to BTA, the Business Travel Association.
You’ll notice we have dropped the word “management”, but that doesn’t mean we’re dropping our commitment to support TMCs. On the contrary, the BTA is committed to bringing together and supporting our members, partners and industry stakeholders to deliver solutions to cross-industry issues and market changes.
This move reflects the board’s strategy to broaden our scope of work, something we have done seamlessly over the years, and this rebrand reflects just that.
Our efforts will continue to go towards promoting business travel to be seen as an investment, vital to any commercial strategy, and a driver of economic growth. However, it’s important to do so and still ensure fairness, transparency and a competitive marketplace across all industry sectors.
From lobbying in Westminster on issues relevant to the industry, such as a joined-up infrastructure strategy and competitive taxation policies, to promoting discussion among our membership on initiatives such as NDC or PSD2, the work the team has done over the years serves as a solid base for this next stage in the association.
As such, we will continue working closely with government, reinforced by a newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group for business travel and the industry to promote the integral role of business travel and events to the wider economy.
The next generation
I’m also incredibly proud of our continued efforts to future-proof the industry by attracting and nurturing talent. This remains an ongoing objective as we transition to a new era. Initiatives, such as our Diploma in Corporate Travel Management with Travilearn and our partnership with Bournemouth University, aim to raise awareness of the career options offered by business travel.
Our goal is to drive responsible development and sustainability of the industry, through nurturing talent, embracing new technology and inspiring the next generation of business travel leaders.
We also are aiming to make our industry more diverse and inclusive. We are, therefore, excited about our recent collaboration agreement with Women in Travel (CIC), a social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through employability and entrepreneurship in travel, tourism, hospitality and events.
I bow out with an immense sense of pride for what we’ve achieved over the past few years, which has allowed us to make this bold transition from GTMC to BTA with confidence and steady foundations. It will enable us to continue delivering practical solutions to challenges and market changes, as well as supporting best practice, sustainability and the wellbeing of business travellers.
Adrian Parkes is chief executive of BTA (formerly known as GTMC) which represents TMCs