With business travel staging a strong, steady comeback, travelers, travel buyers and the corporations they work for are looking past the last two-plus years of COVID-focus toward new opportunities – and new challenges. So when the industry gathers in San Diego for the 53rd Global Business Travel Association Convention, there will be more on the table as buyers and suppliers navigate the road ahead for business travel worldwide.

New research from GBTA finds the majority of global companies are opening up to both domestic and international travel, bookings are on the rise and conference attendance is surpassing 2019 levels. Now, the long-awaited ‘new normal’ is finally setting in, and with it, new issues that buyers and suppliers are concerned about – inflation and the upward pressure on travel costs, sustainability, and the future of work, to name but a few.

From Aug. 14 through 17, business travel buyers and suppliers will gather at the San Diego Convention Center for plenty of face-to-face networking. Critical topics, such as the state of the industry, the future of technology and innovation, and business transformation are on the agenda for main stage presentations, as well as a variety of educational sessions and special events.

To ensure the safety of all attendees, GBTA is working with the convention center and its service providers to follow the latest CDC and California state health guidelines. Currently, attendees are not required to provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests, and masks are not required indoors. GBTA will update protocols if guidelines change.

GBTA says it recognizes the challenges that may still prevent some from attending a live event. To accommodate off-site participants, the association says it is working to provide some content for virtual attendees. However, as this goes to press, GBTA says it is still “in the process of determining which elements of the convention will be in-person only and which have a virtual component.”

Travel management professional attending GBTA Convention 2022 will find a wealth of education and professional development sessions centered on current and future-oriented solutions to advance their corporation’s programs, their personal careers and the industry. The association promises sessions for all levels of experience, from fundamental understanding to practical application to high-level strategic content.
The tracks are broken out across a dozen critical industry sectors:
• Accommodations
• Data Analytics & Distribution
• Human Resources
• Meetings & Events
• Mobility
• Payment Solutions
• Procurement & Sourcing
• Risk Management & Duty of Care
• Stakeholder Management
• Sustainability & Responsibility
• Technology & Innovation
• Transportation

Sustainability & Technology
Both the sustainable future of travel and travel technology innovation are in the spotlight at GBTA Convention 2022 with the introduction of two new features: The Sustainability Pavilion and Tech Safari Live!

The Pavilion will run from Sunday through Tuesday, hosting Green Talks and Roundtables, featuring experts from GBTA’s Sustainability Leadership Council. The Green Village exhibition space will give business and non-profit exhibitors an opportunity to highlight sustainability solutions.

Tech Safari Live! is a showcase for new technology, giving eight companies 15 minutes each to present their particular innovation. Selections were made by the GBTA Technology Committee based on three criteria: How does the technology serve corporate travel? Is it available now? And who will find it useful? The Safari is scheduled for Wednesday morning from 10:00 AM to 12 noon on the Expo floor.