Summary: GBTA’s annual event addressed the changing trends in business travel from distribution to the types of trips business travelers are taking.

The 54th annual Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) marked a return to prominence for the event, with more than 5,200 corporate travel professionals attending. Dallas, the home city to two ARC board member airlines, provided the backdrop for three days of connection, learning and discovery. ARC returned as a full exhibitor for the first time since 2019 and took advantage of opportunities to share company news and thought leadership throughout the event.

An Introduction to Traverse Technologies

Michael Harbin speaking at GBTA Media Day

The Convention got off to an exciting start for ARC and its subsidiary company nuTravel, whose president and CEO Michael Harbin announced the company’s rebrand to Traverse Technologies on Sunday at GBTA Media Day. In his presentation to attending media, Harbin shared Traverse’s vision to empower suppliers and corporations of all sizes by creating a preferred direct booking channel through travel suppliers’ web apps. Harbin emphasized the opportunity for Traverse to be a trusted partner within the corporate travel booking ecosystem with the support of ARC and the Traverse team. You can follow Traverse on LinkedIn and learn more on their website.

All Eyes on NDC

With some of the largest airlines taking major steps to integrate NDC into their distribution strategies in 2023, several education sessions at the convention brought buyers, suppliers and travel agency personnel together to discuss the transformative technology and how it’s creating challenges and opportunities for the entire industry. As a provider of NDC resources and solutions, ARC attended these sessions to hear from and support customers and partners. While some of the panels featured opposing viewpoints, the consensus across sessions was there is room in the ecosystem for different booking channels – the goal should be to deliver solutions that meet customer needs.

ARC Expertise at #GBTA2023

Lauri and Monisa

ARC president and CEO Lauri Reishus sat down with Monisa Cline at the GBTA Broadcast Studio to share her perspective on NDC’s impact within the travel industry and what ARC data says about how business trips are changing. Reishus provided insight into the work that ARC is doing to update its agency classification model and how ARC is using machine learning and artificial intelligence to determine key trip attributes.

Onsite staff spent their days connecting with customers and attendees while sharing ARC’s vital role within the global business travel industry. From sharing information on ARC Direct Connect to promoting Elevate + TravelConnect 2024, the ARC team spoke to the biggest issues affecting corporate travel and how the organization is responding to them. For the more than 1,000 travel buyers at the event, ARC highlighted its Corporate Travel Department program, which enables corporations to function as their travel agency and manage relationships with global air travel suppliers.

As travel agencies and airlines deal with the increasing fraud challenges, ARC also offered dedicated resources, webinars and information detailing the most common fraud schemes and ways to mitigate the risk of falling victim.

A Positive Outlook for Business Travel

GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang unveiled the 2023 Business Travel Index™ Outlook report that shows business travel spend surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 2024, an improvement from the 2022 forecast. As corporate travel agency segment transactions continue their gradual recovery from 2020, this forecast was a positive sign to the overall health of the global travel industry.

GBTA Convention 2023 showed the business travel industry continues to evolve and grow as the needs of travelers, their organizations and partners change. ARC will be there to support this global industry by facilitating conversations and business between stakeholders to ensure there’s opportunity for every willing participant.

See you in Atlanta for #GTBA2024!