GBTA APAC conference 2024 brings together industry leaders and trailblazers
Friday, 14th June 2024
Source : Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)

More than 800 industry professionals gathered to network, advocate teach and learn what’s fueling next-gen trends, spending and priorities amidst a dynamic regional market.

There’s no slowing down the enthusiasm and demand from the APAC region as it continues its upward trajectory in business travel volume, spending and career satisfaction, according to forecasts and insights shared at the 2024 APAC Conference hosted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the premiere trade association and “voice” of the global business travel industry.

Held at Raffles City Convention Centre in Singapore from May 14-15, 2024, GBTA once again partnered with the WERC® Regional Summit to welcome over 800 attendees from 28 countries – including over 40 exhibiting and sponsoring companies – to network, gain insights from industry experts and participate in peer-led interactive education sessions. The two-day event also featured Main Stage trend-setters, regional thought leaders, buyer/supplier roundtables and “The Big Idea” workshop, all focusing on forecasts and key issues and facing the business travel industry, as well as what’s in store for the future.

A New Landscape for Business Travel

This year’s conference focused on adapting, innovating and succeeding in navigating the future of business travel. From understanding the complexities of global travel sustainability regulations to harnessing the power of technology for enhanced traveler experiences, the conference addressed these and other pressing issues facing businesses and travelers alike.

“The business travel forecast for APAC looks strong and poised for success, as demonstrated by our record-breaking attendance at the Conference this year. Having spoken to our regional members and industry professionals to better understand what’s important to them, I’m optimistic about the future. There’s definitely a good appetite for business travel in the APAC region,” said Elle Ng-Darmawan, Regional Director, APAC for GBTA, who took to the APAC Conference Main Stage for the first time since joining the organization in December 2023.

During her Main Stage presentation, Suzanne Neufang, CEO of GBTA, touched on these subjects as well as the current state of business travel and future forecasts, global and regional outlooks, the influence of change such as workplace transformation, and how broader forces, innovation and putting travelers at the center will be key to navigating the future for the industry.  

“The workplace and workforce continue to evolve as we see a shift in hybrid schedules, changing priorities and the increased desire to align with socially and environmentally conscious companies, but there’s no doubt that people want to travel for work, even if how they travel continues to change. Meeting face-to-face remains unmatched for positive outcomes and connections.” said Neufang.

GBTA insights Neufang shared specific to APAC included:

  • Data from GBTA’s 2023 Business Travel Index™ (BTI) indicates the APAC region remains on course for playing a prominent role in global total business travel spending this year, encompassing 42% of global travel spend. China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and Indonesia claim spots among the Top 15 global markets.
  • Taiwan (52%), Singapore (40%), Thailand (36%), New Zealand (34%) and Hong Kong (31%) represent the Top 5 APAC markets with the highest year-over-year growth in business travel spending between 2022-2023.
  • According to the GBTA 2023 BTI, 40% of APAC business travelers flew business or first class, and 38% stayed at an upscale or luxury hotel on their work trips.
  • At 45%, APAC business travelers are more likely to blend leisure travel with a business trip, which is higher than any other region surveyed.

APAC and Global Industry Leaders Take the Stage

In addition to GBTA leadership, high-ranking representatives from notable organizations such as Google, EY, Jetstar Asia, The Ascott and Changi Airport shared insights on the latest topics and trends affecting travelers, businesses and industry professionals during the Main Stage presentations.

The APAC Conference also featured engaging roundtable discussions and education sessions that focused on critical priorities and opportunities in the APAC business travel sector. These included business travel management fundamentals; travel program organizational design; the role outsourcing plays; how today’s workplace culture influences business travel; choosing sustainable suppliers; nurturing safety, health and security of mobile workers; harnessing AI and technology; global trends in relocation and mobility; and sustainability integration in corporate mobility programs, among many others.

New Partnership in Australia Introduced

GBTA also announced a partnership with the Australia Corporate Travel Summit (ACTS), a collaboration of the Association of Travel Management Companies and Greener Airlines, for a conference and exhibition taking place in Sydney on November 13, 2024.

The joint effort will provide unique value and benefits to travel managers in the form of a bundled delegate pass and GBTA membership, as well as discounts for GBTA’s industry members.

“Entering this partnership with ACTS underscores GBTA’s commitment to the APAC region and allows us to be part of a high-quality event that focuses on the unique trends and issues affecting the business travel industry ‘Down Under.’ Renewing GBTA’s presence in Australia and exchanging insight and ideas with our colleagues there is a win-win for everyone,” said Catherine Logan, GBTA Regional Senior Vice President for EMEA and APAC.

“We are delighted to announce this exciting agreement with GBTA, which adds strength and depth to our agenda and enhances the value of the event to our attendees. In a short space of time, we have developed a highly collaborative relationship between all stakeholders in this event and we look forward to a great success for our industry in November,” said ATMC Chairperson Tass Messinis.

“Excitement is building for the Summit – and our agreement with GBTA only adds to the anticipation. Attendees can look forward to a day of high level, strategic insights and practical learnings, as well as valuable connections to world leading solutions and services providers,” said Greener Airlines co-Founder Peter Harbison.

GBTA also announced it will host its 2025 APAC Conference again at Raffles City Convention Centre in Singapore on May 27-28, 2025.

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