Event re­port: GTMC Con­fer­ence

The GTMC’S an­nual overseas con­fer­ence took place in County Wick­low, Ire­land.

The Business Travel Magazine - - Contents - Ben­jamin Coren re­ports

Del­e­gates at this year's GTMC overseas con­fer­ence were urged to ‘Mind The Gap’ by seiz­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties within the busi­ness travel mar­ket.

The TMC sec­tor was told it could chal­lenge in ar­eas in­clud­ing new tech­nol­ogy, meet­ings and events or­gan­i­sa­tion, and in­flu­enc­ing po­lit­i­cal changes such as Brexit and trans­port pol­icy.

In his key­note ad­dress, IAG Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Wil­lie Walsh said tech­nol­ogy, in­fra­struc­ture and con­sumer be­hav­iour and de­mands will im­pact TMC busi­ness.

“We’re go­ing to see more change and we are go­ing to have to start un­der­stand­ing how they [cus­tomers] are go­ing to want to be served ten years from now”, said Walsh.

On Brexit, Bar­la­cys head of in­vest­ment strat­egy, Wil­liam Hobbs, of­fered a less bleak view on the fu­ture: “We think it would be a head­wind for the UK econ­omy, but a di­gestible one. Eco­nomic out­put has risen and that long-run growth mas­sively out­weighs re­ces­sion, but in any case re­ces­sions are in­cred­i­bly hard to pre­dict.”

He added that de­spite Brexit, “the UK econ­omy is still an at­trac­tive econ­omy com­pared to the rest of the world.”

How­ever, po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Steve Richards said votes in par­lia­ment will add to uncer­tainty on Brexit. “The June EU sum­mit will not be de­ci­sive. Theresa May wants to be able to say ‘ac­cept the deal or it’s no deal’. If she loses, May would have to go.”

Fur­ther­ing the themes of growth and op­por­tu­ni­ties to TMC rev­enue, David Trunk­field, part­ner at PWC said: “UK cor­po­rate spend to­tals about £40bil­lion in travel, but about only £10bil­lion is man­aged by TMCS.” He cited two op­por­tu­ni­ties to cap­ture this: the leak­age in man­aged busi­ness travel and also the un­man­aged busi­ness travel seg­ment.

Mean­while, Trav­el­port’s EVP and CCO, Stephen Shur­rock, high­lighted the need to de­liver tai­lored prod­ucts in to­day's mar­ket: “Per­son­al­i­sa­tion is so im­por­tant to­day. Cus­tomers talk about mo­bile and the fact they run their life through that de­vice to­day.”

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