GBTA Announces the Launch of the GBTA HUB and Direct Member of the Year
DENVER, Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – continued to bring great panels and discussions to attendees on the opening day of the GBTA Convention 2011 while also making news with the announcement of the GBTA HUB, an online social and collaborative community for members-only around the world to connect, network, discuss industry issues, and access the new Digital Resource Library, the industry's largest collection of essential business travel intelligence. The library was created and launched in partnership with Enterprise Holdings, StarCite and Visa.
Monday began with the highly anticipated Airline CEO panel which included Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways Group, Inc. and Wang Yingming, chairman of both Hainan Airlines and HNA Aviation Group, sharing the stage with moderator Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS News. The session was amusing and informative, as both executives shared their views on the airline industry overall and their businesses, while working in a few jokes which kept the crowd in high spirits.
Doug Parker of US Airways discussed ancillary fees, noting the fees are here to stay and overall are good for travelers who can now choose and pay for only the services they want. In regards to the distribution questions which have arisen in the industry, Parker claimed US Airways is always in favor of transparency and believes the main conflict is not about wanting transparency but rather an inability for US Airways to share all their offerings effectively with consumers through current distribution models.
Wang Yingming of Hainan Airlines told the audience extended routes to North America and Europe, and his view on alliances, joking about alliances, Hainan Airlines said it is still "single because we don't want to marry early" and continues to focus on providing service and quality.
The afternoon continued with the general session which opened up with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock who warmly welcomed this year's Convention. During the session, GBTA announced that the innovative, industry-first GBTA Business Travel Index (BTI)™ is going global, including the regions of Latin America, Europe and Asia, in addition to announcing the launch of the GBTA HUB. Craig Banikowski, CCTE, C.P.M., CMM, GBTA President & CEO, also revealed the Direct Member of the Year Award which was given to Laurie Kazimer, manager, travel services, Target Corporation. GBTA gave a round of applause to Laurie as videos of several members from the GBTA Hotel Committee shared their overwhelming positive experiences with Laurie and discussed her commitment to both GBTA and the industry.
The keynote for the general session on Monday was former Secretary of Treasury Henry M. Paulson, Jr. whose appearance was made possible by Sabre Travel Network, GetThere & Travelocity Business and was hosted by President of Sabre Holdings, Tom Klein. Mr. Paulson told the audience about his experiences in office, his view on current events and the economic health of the U.S. Said Paulson, "The U.S. has the largest and richest economy in the world." Paulson also shared his view on the relationship between the U.S. and China, stating the problems in U.S. will be easier to solve if China continues to grow.
United States Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) also attended and toured the trade show floor which included over 400 exhibitors, discussing with attendees the value of managed travel and the impact business travel on the national economy.
About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world's premier business travel and meetings organization. Collectively, GBTA's 5,000-plus members manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its network of 17,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers, with networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and advocacy. For more information, visit gbta.org.
SOURCE Global Business Travel Association