The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry has over 5,000-plus members and manages over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. Travel and Tour World (TTW) had an exclusive interview with Michael W. McCormick, Executive Director and COO of GBTA regarding its global role, recent venture and travel issues.
TTW – Elaborate GBTA’s role in playing the voice of the business travel industry?
Michael W. McCormick : The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organisation. For more than 40 years, the association has dedicated itself to the professional development of its members and the advancement of the business travel and meetings management community. It is a critical source for information and resources on the business travel industry providing networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and as an organisation we focus heavily on advocacy both at the state and federal levels.
TTW – What are the major travel issues GBTA is working on recently?
Michael W. McCormick : Every year at our Legislative Action Summit, hoteliers from across the country come to Washington D.C. to learn the pressing legislative issues facing the lodging industry and take their message to Capitol Hill. After a day-long conference featuring panels on the current legislative outlook, members head to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress. As a direct result of hoteliers converging on Capitol Hill, Travel Promotion (visa reform legislation) and ADA pool lift requirements have been reviewed and are currently being discussed.
TTW: What do you see as being the single most important challenge facing the American Hotel & Lodging Association today? How are you addressing this?
Michael W. McCormick : We’re currently focused on providing the research, data and insights that underscore the direct correlation between business travel and the economy as well as initiatives to improve traveller safety. For example, GBTA is working with policy leaders to improve risk-based security programmes like pre-check and global entry. Programmes like this help get travellers through security faster and back on the road growing business without compromising safety. Also, we continue to be at the forefront of other business issues providing guidance on best practices for travel managers to help them get the most out of their organisation’s travel programmes and emerging issues like sustainability.