Chapter Blog

President's Message - 2017 Wrap-up

GBTA Kansas City offers a comprehensive array of valuable business resources designed to keep you connected, engaged and inspired for success in the business travel industry.  As we begin to wrap-up the 2017 year with some phenomenal results, GBTA KC is excited to review some of our achievements:

  •          20% increase in chapter membership
  •          30% increase in meeting attendance
  •          91% Event survey respondents indicated that the event exceeded expectations
  •          Our November event is the highest rated event based on survey results!
  •          71% increase in membership on LinkedIn Group
  •          Update to become a resource tool for industry articles, benchmarking and foundation tools
  •          Kicked off the first annual I-70 Business Travel Series between Kansas City and St. Louis
  •          Social Event Networking and Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s
  •          Sponsorship Increase Participation ROI
  •          Achieved GBTA Partner Status by achieving the BT PAC Chapter Challenge Goals, and beat our BT PAC goal for the 2nd year in a row!
  •          Became a sponsor of “Support a Better KCI”
  •          Held 2 volunteer events for our Charity of the Year – The Birthday Project
  •          Donated to the Oak Grove tornado victims with clothing, food, and household items

On December 6, GBTA KC held our Annual Holiday Social & Charity Event. This was a great event to celebrate the holidays and our members.  In addition, the funds raised will be allocated between The Birthday Party Project - benefit the women and children of the Kansas City area shelters; and your chapter will use toward membership opportunities and scholarships.    

In 2018, we look forward to continuing to develop and manage innovative educational events, provide engaging networking opportunities, professional development growth and demonstrate membership value.

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GBTA and Travelers United to Congress: Don’t Tax Travel Again

Alexandria, VA (November 8, 2017) – Today, the Global Business Travel Association and Travelers United sent a joint letter to Congress urging opposition to a proposal that would increase the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). In July, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously (31-0) to approve a proposal included in the FY2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act, that would increase the cap on the PFC from $4.50 to $8.50. The estimated cost, $2.6 billion, would be levied on all travelers purchasing airlines tickets.

“This is yet another tax on the cost of doing business in the United States,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “It weakens the United States’ ability to compete in an increasingly competitive global market. It limits the return on investment on business travel – a proven economic driver contributing to GDP, jobs and wages. Additionally, this PFC increase adds an element of uncertainty for our members as they finalize their budgets for the next calendar year.”

GBTA research shows that for every 1 percent change in business travel spending, the U.S. economy gains or loses 74,000 jobs, $5.5 billion in GDP, $3.3 billion in wages and $1.3 billion in taxes. Conversely, taxes and fees associated with travel have the opposite effect.

This is the second letter GBTA has sent to Congress regarding the PFC increase. Prior to consideration of the FY2018 THUD Appropriations Act, GBTA sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee expressing concern regarding the unintended consequences of such a fee increase on the business traveler. GBTA continues to oppose PFC increases ensuring business travelers do not bear an undue burden from ever-increasing taxes and fees.

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Eight Steps to great savings for your travel program

Eight Steps to great savings for your travel program         

  •          Create a strong travel policy

o   Tell travelers what they can spend on accommodations, meal, etc., and offer direction when, where and how they should book their trips

  •          Secure Corporate Rate

o   Push for lower rates with the travel supplier(s) your company uses the most

  •          Educate Your Travelers

o   Tell travelers why it’s important to use your preferred suppliers. Nudge them to take advantage of negotiated perks, like free breakfast or WI-FI at the hotel.

  •          Encourage Advance Bookings

o   Push travelers to book flights three weeks to three months ahead of departure. It can save an average of $150 per ticket.

  •          Embrace Non-refundable fares

o   They’re often hundreds of dollars cheaper than refundable fares. Plus if there’s a last-minute cancellations, most airlines will allow you to apply the ticket’s face value to a new purchase (for a fee).

  •          Don’t Let Unused Air Tickets Go To Waste

o   When trips are cancelled (and not immediately rebooked), contact the airline to get money back or credit for future travel. Consider a ticket recovery tool that does this automatically.

  •          Take Advantage of Rewards Programs

o   Airline and hotel rewards programs can translate to valuable offers whether you or your travelers join.

  •          Don’t Give Up On Lower Fares!

o   Most flights can be cancelled for a full refund up to 24 hours after booking. Monitor rates after booking within the void window to secure better prices. Also, consider a price assurance program that does this automatically.

No matter your role in the industry - novice or seasoned professional – GBTA Kansas City offers a comprehensive array of valuable business resources designed to keep you informed in an ever changing business travel industry. 

We hope you can take advantage of the valuable programs we offer to keep you connected, engaged and inspired for success in the business travel industry. 

Reach out to for information on GBTA Kansas City!

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GBTA KC - 2017 and Beyond

Thank you to my GBTA KC board for a great 2017 and looking forward to working with you in 2018.

For our members and prospects, your GBTA KC chapter is YOUR chapter and we look forward to connecting, engaging and inspiring our travel industry profession through networking, education and community service.

The GBTA KC Board is made up of diverse group of Industry Experts who serves as the Leadership Team. These individuals give a great deal of their personal time and have been working together to serve “YOU”, our membership. The committees are a great way to network and keep current on all Travel Industry topics. 

The Committee Chairs are always looking for new volunteers to “GET ACTIVE.”  So reach to any one of the individuals below and raise your hand.  This is your organization so “GET INVOLVED.”  

We have wonderful November and December events remaining in 2017. Next year, we are raising the bar to bring a higher ROI to you.

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Beginner’s Guide to Travel Management: The 5 Best Practices You Need to Know

If you’re in charge of your company’s business travel, you know that it’s so much more than just booking flights. From negotiating the best rates with suppliers to limiting your company’s legal liability, there’s a host of important items that you need to consider.


Download our beginner’s guide, Travel Management 101 to jumpstart your company’s travel strategy. 



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A Day in the Life: The Role of Travel Managers

The GBTA Foundation in partnership with Sabre conducted a two-phase research study about the role of the Travel Manager and the value they bring to their organizations. The main goals of the research include, but were not limited to: the day-to-day tasks performed by Travel Managers, the financial and non-financial savings they bring to their organizations, and the metrics/KPIs they use to measure the success of their corporate travel programs. 

The current report reflects the online survey results from the second phase. Participants were included in the second phase if they are North America or Europe-based Travel Managers and have some level of responsibility with one or more travel categories:  airlines, hotels, ground transportation, meetings and events, TMCs/Agencies, payment solutions, and travel technology.


Click here for Free Report!

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GBTA Risk Committee Spotlight | Effects of Natural Disasters

Three recent hurricanes that struck Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico have left many short and long term effects which will make for a very difficult recovery process. The GBTA Risk Committee developed today’s blog to highlight these physical, mental, systemic and environmental effects in an effort to help you prepare for future natural disasters.

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What will best practice travel management look like in 2018?

What will best practice travel management look like in 2018?

The speed of technological development, macro-economic uncertainty and the rise of traveler centricity are key considerations for any buyer looking to future proof their travel program.

New fare aggregators and traveler focused tools are hitting the market with a frequency never seen before. Buyers must be able to quickly and effectively identify those that could enhance rather than undermine their programs and support this with proactive communication. With New Distribution Capability (NDC) just around the corner and GDPR on the horizon, proactivity is not a choice. Buyers and TMCs alike must embrace the future or stand to lose control.

Cost will be no less important in 2018 than it has been in the years preceding; business travel is still one of the largest areas of controllable expense for a company. As we approach 2018, those responsible for travel will need to consider how they balance cost and corporate goals with employee need.

So what will we see from the TMCs delivering the greatest value in 2018?

Access to global, multi-channel content that demystifies distribution

Open booking champions will argue that by providing choice, travelers will make smart business appropriate decisions that save money. With prominent early adopters flying the flag for open booking, the future value of the GDS became a hot topic of conversation. Now with NDC (the IATA standard promising richer content delivery) just around the corner, a plethora of quick to market apps vying for traveler attention and an increasing frequency of airlines supporting direct connect by leveraging distribution charges, those responsible for business travel are necessarily focused on the future of distribution.

TMCs set to deliver value in 2018 are working towards a content utopia to deliver global, multi-channel content to their clients across desktop and mobile.

Human support that helps to make sense of AI

Whether it’s artificial intelligence or the latest traveler experience app, your TMC (as your strategic partner) should keep you at the sharp edge and help you to identify initiatives and tools worth taking forward. From chat-bots to personalization, your TMC should act as an informed filter for what is likely just a distraction and what’s here to stay.

Guidance on why compliance and data security matter in light of looming legislation

A run of data breaches across the travel sector have reinforced that there is a very real danger if data security is not tight. Balancing security and savings is not a new quandary for the travel sector but it remains a fact that booking on discount fare platforms could require you to hand off data to a non-secure site. TMCs that combine a best fare guarantee with a secure booking site are the solution.

GDPR will be a big ticket item for Global and EU Travel Managers to tackle. What is it? A harmonized data protection framework operating across the EU and imposing processing and hosting rules on the rest of the world intended to give citizens back the control of their personal data. Local and global travel managers and TMCs will need to take a joined up approach to evidence compliance across the global supply chain.

A fresh approach to financial control driven by business intelligence

The GBTA is expecting a “sharp” increase in global travel costs next year with global airfares set to increase by 3.5 per cent while hotel rates will be around 3.7 per cent higher. TMCs will be called upon to demonstrate their worth by helping clients to accurately budget and find new ground to generate savings. Next generation business intelligence will be critical in helping TMCs turn big data into useful visual analytics that help to quickly uncover insights.

Duty of Care – taking care of traveler in a dangerous world

The nature of global business means that people need to travel. Whether it’s within their own city or across international borders, the pressure is on to keep them safe. In this day and age, businesses must build an auditable process of travel risk prevention which stands up to the test of reasonableness. TMCs are no longer on the periphery of risk management. Whether through in-house services or strategic partnerships, a TMC must work proactively with their clients to ensure that risk is tackled from the core of the program – the policy itself.    

A consumer focused approach to travel booking technology

As Gen Z  climb the corporate ladder they bring with them an increasingly traveler centric approach. Considering the content distribution shakeup and aggressive M&A activity in the online aggregator market TMCs have their work cut out if they are to compete with the consumer tools. TMCs that can combine in depth knowledge of their clients’ needs with the agility and investment to deliver solutions are the ones to watch.

Based in Philadelphia, DeAnne Dale, Reed & Mackay’s SVP Global Strategy and Consulting. If you’d like to take your travel program to the next level, we’d love to hear from you.

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GBTA Convention 2017 Thoughts!

I can't believe that it has been almost a week since #GBTA2017 in Boston concluded, yet here it is Tuesday afternoon and I am still on a post-Convention high and slowing getting caught up.  I wanted to share my thoughts and views of our recent Convention, and over the past few days I gave it a lot of thought.

First, there is a lot of work and effort goes into these things from Sponsors, GBTA Staff, Chapter President’s, Committees, etc. Planning is usually a year or so before each Convention. It is a lot of hard work!  I was able to make my way onto the Convention floor as it was being constructed and saw hundreds working hard on Saturday and Sunday getting things ready. Additionally, I was one of the many volunteers that volunteered their time during Convention. Volunteering is a great way to get involved with GBTA, plus your registration is free!  Lastly, I thought of the hundreds of professionals volunteering to give presentations on a host of topics, and the countless hours of preparation they put in.

During my week in Boston, I connected with amazing thought leaders, disruptors, and visionaries in the corporate travel industry *and* I was also lucky enough to make new connections and catch up with old friends. Even though there are thousands of us all around the world, we in the travel industry are a close knit family.  Please click here to see the collection of photos from GBTA Convention 2017.

No matter if you're a supplier or travel manager, we all share passion for travel and for what matters most -- improving the experience for the travelers that we serve. Thanks again to the GBTA for an amazing Convention and I look forward to #GBTA2018 in beautiful San Diego.

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GBTA KC attends the 2017 CPC Leadership Summit in Orlando

I was very fortunate to attend (with Jennifer Commuso, Chris Galle and Megan Howard) the Chapters President’s Council (CPC) Leadership Summit in Orlando. CPC provides the Leadership Summit as a venue for board members of chapters across the country to gather and share best practices and new ideas.

We attended workshops to strengthen our knowledge on sponsorships, scholarships, volunteerism, membership, driving attendance, engagement and succession planning.  As a result of the knowledge sharing among our peers, we are bringing home new ideas to help grow and strengthen our chapter and increasing your membership ROI.  

Our time spend in Orlando was productive and we have begun discussing new processes to implement, made new connections with other chapter members, networked across the industry and returned to Kansas City with an excitement for our members. 

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