1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
November 2022, Virtual
The business travel industry in Europe can expect more take overs and mergers, Richard Lovell, CWT's chief operating officer for EMEA, said.Speaking in his role as chairman of the UK's Guild of Travel Management Companies (formerly the GBTA), Mr Lovell said new names were appearing in the Guild's members list while old ones, like Ayscough Travel, were disappearing.“Undoubtedly this process of consolidation and change will continue through 2005. Indeed we see a similar trend throughout Europe as the industry develop and matures,” he said.“This is an industry which lives on turbulence. Companies are disappearing as independent entities and in this fast moving environment, we are subject to consolidation.“This is not the end for small agencies which can serve niche markets while the big ones will operate globally,” he said at the Guild's annual lunch in London.The three objectives of the Guild were to inform, involve and influence. The first meant greater coverage in the media of what TMCs did and the second meant strengthening the Guild's ties with associations like ACTE and Paragon, the European travel managers' group, and working through the Corporate Travel Action Group (CTAG) which was set up to talk to bodies like IATA and the EU.Influence was also increasing as could be seen in the GEBTA negotiations with the EU and IATA over the latter's rules.Guest speaker at the event, Lord Marshall, former ceo of British Airways and now its executive chairman, launched an appeal for freedom of the skies between Europe and America and for freedom for mergers and take overs among airlines as in other industries.He said the current situation was “farcical” with too many intercontinental carriers and too many airport hubs.The key to unlocking this situation was open skies and while talks between the EU and the US would not be easy, they had to be been completed successfully.