Duty of Care Tops the Agenda at Global Business Travel Association Convention

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GBTA CEO Mike McCormick one on one with Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian

Duty of care was the theme woven through the keynotes and education sessions at this years Global Business Travel Association annual convention, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center earlier this week.

The GBTA BTI Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast, released at the Global Business Travel Association Convention, showed an improving global economy and solid expected travel growth, but points to an atmosphere of continuing uncertainty. “Political polices, geopolitical tensions and financial concerns all have intensified,” it reported. “Some sources of uncertainty could ultimately have a positive impact on business travel as lower corporate tax rates are pushed forward and business regulations are rolled back but other factors will have a decidedly more negative impact on business travel including trade policy renegotiation, terrorism, travel and immigration bans, sanctions, electronics bans and geopolitical tensions.”

Keynote speakers including former General David Petraeus, Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC and Expedia Barry Diller and Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian all touched on current political uncertainties. Petraeus, when asked what keeps him up at night, cited political extremists, who are able to post their tactics and formulas for weapons right on the Internet. “This needs to be regulated and removed,” he said. Individual sessions also addressed the topic as well as its potential effects on business travelers, including the increasing use of GPS tracking by companies, which is expected to grow to common practice by 40 percent of companies. Another study, How to Close Risk Management Loopholes, released at the convention by the GBTA in partnership with Concur, found that just half  of travel managers say, in the event of an emergency, they can locate all of their employees in the affected area within two hours or less. Three in five rely on the individuals to reach out.

More than 2,300 companies and 52 countries were represented in Boston, with over 400 exhibitors taking part in its Expo, 100 of which were new exhibitors.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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