This week BTE reports from the lively London Business Travel Show (BTS) including an attack on the conduct of TMCs, a new survey by AirPlus and a look at some of the new products and services launched at the show.
The BTS, housed in new quarters for the first time at Earl's Court, gets bigger by the year. It also appears to be attracting a far wider range of visitors including many from India and the Far East as well as the more regular attendees from continental Europe, America and South Africa.
While most prominent names in business travel were there, there were a few notable absentees, including leading European airlines like Lufthansa and Air France/KLM as well as, far more surprisingly, American Express.
If there was a one theme emerging it was that companies saw the show as a chance to enhance their green credentials.
Both HRG and Carlson Wagonlit Travel launched carbon calculators with the former also offering a product to check on the "greenness" of hotels. But there were others also anxious to demonstrate that they had caught the new mood.
It was, therefore, surprising that a survey by IT company KDS with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) found that many companies were being slow to tackle seriously the carbon emissions generated through their employees' business travel.
Both KDS and ACTE called on these companies to do more to close the gap between good intentions on the environment and actual action.
Sadly this was always the danger, that the good will and intentions would not be translated into positive and often costly action.
Let us hope that the findings of the survey were just a bleep.
* Last week's story and Analysis feature in BTE on the stalled negotiations between the GDSs and BA over a new deal brought quite a bit of reaction. The Business Travel Coalition has written a letter to BA ceo Willie Walsh protesting at his carrier's apparent tactics and negotiating stance. If you wish to read this letter and sign it please go to: http://businesstravelcoalition.com/advocacy/statements/131.htm
Business Travel Europe