Summit provided critical and actionable information to help move the industry forward
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) hosted the Ready. Safe. Travel. Summit to educate and prepare the Association’s membership and the industry for the evolution of business travel as a result of the on-going pandemic.
GBTA launched the Ready. Safe. Travel. campaign last fall with the objective of bringing awareness to the importance of the business travel industry to the global economy, advocating for a timely and safe return to business travel, and to provide Association members with the education and tools to do so.
The virtual Summit was a continuation of the overall campaign and aimed to provide the roadmap for a safe return to business travel. The Summit, with more than 1,000 registrants, featured several impressive experts across three segments:
- “We are Ready!”: Three distinguished medical professionals – Dr. Tim Garrett, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Juno Metabolomics; Dr. Simon Worrell, global medical director at Collinson; and Dr. Mark Fischer, regional medical director at International SOS – discussed the current COVID vaccines, and what travelers should know before, during and after travel, including COVID testing types and requirements, mobility restrictions across borders, quarantine rules and what to do if you get sick. The segment also featured a recorded segment from U.S. Representative John Katko, Ranking Member on the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee.
- “We are Safe!”: A group of esteemed travel suppliers – Chris Crowley, partner at Nina and Pinta; Jeff Berk, CEO of Tripkicks; Nick Careen, senior vice president of airport passenger cargo & security for IATA; and Nan Park, vice president of global business development for CIBT – shared how new travel processes and protocols will be scaled to ensure traveler safety along with new products and services that will restore travel confidence.
- “We can Travel!”: Global buyers Carmen Smith, senior manager of travel & events for ICF; Christoph Carnier, head of travel, fleet & events for Merck in Germany; Trish Earles, senior global manager for Halliburton; and Peter Koh, Asia strategic sourcing manager for Corning Singapore are all from companies that have continued business-critical travel and each shared their company’s approach to travel during the pandemic, including engaging leadership in discussions about returning to travel, making employees feel safe and comfortable with travel, and what they think could hinder or speed up the return to business travel.
“All the parts at play with the COVID virus and pandemic are constantly evolving and this Summit brought together experts in three critical areas to share their expertise on the current hurdles we face to a safe return to travel, how to maneuver through them successfully, and what to expect in the near future,” said Dave Hilfman, interim executive director of GBTA. “In studies like our own GBTA Coronavirus Member Poll, people indicate that business travel will begin to rebound this year. We want to make sure our members and industry are ready to restart travel safely and successfully.”
During the Ready. Safe. Travel. Summit, GBTA also announced the launch of the new Ready. Safe. Travel. Training Program, which will deliver essential content to help transition business travel and its practices beyond the pandemic. The training program will run virtually for four weeks beginning May 5 and is for all levels of the global business travel industry, buyers and suppliers alike. Those who complete the program will be designated as a Ready. Safe. Travel. Specialist and will receive a digital award of completion, signifying to their employer, peers, customers and the industry their knowledge and commitment to a safe restart and future for the business travel industry.