President's Letter

Happy New Year!

As we begin 2018, we cannot help but look back on 2017 with some relief that we got through it all or perhaps proud of our accomplishments in this industry that is becoming more and more challenging to keep pace with everything that’s going on in the world.

For many travel managers, the focus in 2017 might have been:

  1. Duty of Care – more and more focus on keeping your travelers safe.
  2. New Technology – or maybe it was the not so new technology that travel managers finally decided to learn more about or implement in their own travel program.  Travel managers need to keep up with so many new entrants to see if this new technology will enhance their travel program.  The need to know, the need to keep up with these new entrants are important since our travelers are savvy and use technology, mobile technology to keep them productive while travelling.
  3. Budget Reduction – travel managers are tasked with how to keep costs down.  We need to be able to show our value by keeping on top of industry trends, introduce technology that will help our bottom line and at the same time, keep our travelers happy & safe. 
  4. The Sharing economy – I don’t know any travel manager who has not considered Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and the like.  Employees are using these vendors for their personal travel and they are now using these vendors for business travel.  Are we taking advantage of the sharing economy to help reduce our travel budget?  Travelers are cost conscience in their personal life and bringing that lifestyle into business travel.  Are we listening to our travelers? 
  5. “Bleasure” – combining business travel with leisure… not a new “word” for us.  This has increased over the years.  How are companies adapting to this?  Is this addressed in your policy?  We added this into our policy several years ago and our employees take advantage of this when they can.

At BWBTA, we strive to stay on top of all these trends and incorporate them into our monthly educational meetings.  Not only do you get to learn about the trends in our industry, but you get to connect with industry experts and participate in in-depth conversations around what’s important to you.

We have some great content lined up for 2018! 

  • Wednesday, January 17th @ Discovery Communications, Silver Spring

o   Making the Most of Your Travel Management Career in 2018!  For those who attended our first meeting of the year, thank you!  Patrick Algyer from GBTA did an excellent job outlining the benefits of being a member of our chapter and GBTA.  He also gave away some great prizes:  (1) Allied Member “GBTA All Access” membership, (2) Allied Member “2018 GBTA Convention Registration”.  At the meeting next month at DCA, we will give away the same prizes except it will be for Direct Members only! 

  • Wednesday, February 21st @ Reagan National Airport

o   Real ID, FAA Reauthorization, & What's New at DCA?!!  Join your BWBTA friends and colleagues to learn not only about Real ID, but also hear from American Airlines' Tracy Montross about FAA Reauthorization (the US Government's authorization to keep the FAA going!) and all about construction at DCA's Terminal A and the new National Hall.!  Click here to register.

  • Wednesday, May 16th @ Location TBD

o   How Millennials and Mobile are Impacting Managed Travel!!  Speaker, Tim Hines returns to BWBTA to continue discussions about millennials.  From smart phones to tablets to apps, today's business travelers have access to new tools that are helping them streamline their trips and millennials demand it. Travel managers are faced with the challenge of corralling the mobile generation and implementing new strategies to keep their programs current. This keynote dives deep into mobile & millennials trends and traveler behaviors, and offers insights into best practices to utilize mobile and engage with young professionals.  Click here to register.

BWBTA board will be meeting soon to brainstorm on content for the remainder of the year.  We would love to hear your suggestions as well.  Please contact us with your great ideas to programs@bwbta.com.

On behalf of the BWBTA Board members, we thank you for your support and look forward to a great 2018!  

Sincerely, Yukari Tortorich
BWBTA Chapter President / VP Global Travel Services, Discovery Communications
president@bwbta.org