12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
ITM (Institute of Travel Management) has withdrawn its participation from this year's Buyers Think Tank due to concerns about NBTA's (National Business Travel Association) future activities in Europe.
”In light of uncertainty regarding NBTA's future action in Europe and possible effect on ITM, we feel it would be inappropriate to be involved in the event,” a spokesman for ITM told ABTN.
ITM declined to comment further on its decision, passing the baton to Paragon Partners, an umbrella organisation that represents 12 business travel management associations worldwide including ITM and NBTA. A spokesman for Paragon said: ”We have nothing to do with the event.”
Planned as a 50-50 joint venture between ITM and NBTA, the Buyers Think Tank is due to take place at London”s Victoria Park Plaza Hotel on 28 September.
Speaking to ABTN, NBTA executive director and COO, Bill Connors, confirmed that NBTA plans to go ahead with the existing programme and uphold its discount commitment to all ITM member attendees.
Connors said NBTA was ”disappointed” by ITM's decision, adding: ”I don't want to say anything negative about our friends in the UK. Our door is open and we hope next year they”ll reconsider.”
When asked about its planned ”activities” in Europe, Connors agreed that the association has become more international in scope to reflect a global economic market, with eight planned events taking place outside the US in 2008 - one of which is to be held in Milan from 15-16 May.
Yet far from trying to isolate itself as a stand-alone organisation, Connors said, all European partners have been invited to participate in the Italy venture, the location of which was chosen for its neutral status, as Italy has no such association of its own.
But aside from hosting additional events in the region and the annual Buyers Think Tank in London, which NBTA held last year without participation from ITM, NBTA has no other intentions for Europe at this time. ”We have no plans to solicit membership [in Europe],” Connors added.