Published on : Friday, August 1, 2014
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)—the voice of the global business travel industry— concluded its annual GBTA Convention 2014 on a high note with John Pistole, Administrator, Transportation Security Administrator (TSA) opening the morning session.
In an interview with GBTA Executive Director and COO, Michael W. McCormick, Administrator Pistole told attendees about TSA’s transition from a one-size-fits-all agency to a risk-based, intelligence agency allowing greater efficiency and said how proud he was of his workforce for adapting and embracing these changes. He talked about finding balance and reducing risk.
Next, Google’s Director of Travel Partnerships, David Pavelko took the stage to share his vision of the future of travel. He showcased IPITA (Integrated Proactive Intermodal Travel Assistant), a virtual travel assistant that aims to optimize travel planning, booking and navigation, using real-time maps and geo-specific information revolutionizing the way we consume travel. This technology will be realistic within the next 10 years, he said. Customization is key and wearable technology available today and in development will help keep you connected to the web and connected to your experience at the same time, he added.
GBTA also introduced “The Gift of Knowledge” initiative and United Airlines’ $75,000 commitment as a founding leadership partner. The initiative will implement an innovative and comprehensive program to further develop the travel management profession in China. Through collaborative partnerships with leading educational institutions and visionary leadership from its members, GBTA has changed the landscape of business travel management across the globe and plans to bring this same industry-leading education to China.
The final featured speaker was award winning actor, director, and funny man Jason Alexander. Alexander opened with a song and dance number that parodied GBTA and the travel industry and entertained audience members.
GBTA concluded the event, breaking overall attendee records announcing 6,679 attendees, including 1,304 travel buyers and more than 100 journalists, making this one of the largest GBTA Conventions in history and one of the largest gatherings of travel professionals in the world. Next year’s Convention will be in Orlando, Florida on July 25-29, 2015.