The Association of Corporate Travel Executives and American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) are exploring a new level of partnership in 2015. According to an announcement by ACTE’s Executive Director Greeley Koch, GBT will be working with the association on a global level to redefine “industry innovation” through a joint focus on education and traveler needs. The announcement was made on April 13, 2015, as GBT signed on as the association’s first Chairman’s Circle Global Access Partner.
“The key word is ‘innovation.’ ACTE’s relationship with GBT marks a major innovation in travel industry sponsorship and support with the new ACTE Chairman’s Circle Global Access designation,” said Koch. “We are going beyond the limiting parameters of typical program support, to explore new industry forces as the drivers of innovation for business travel technology, increased traveler effectiveness, and maximum profitability for the traveler’s company.”
“GBT and ACTE share parallel philosophies, especially when it comes to service,” said Steve Curts, Chief Strategy Officer, American Express Global Business Travel. “Our vision at GBT is to become a more customer-centric organization that considers the needs of companies and their travelers in everything we do – from our own internal systems and recruitment strategy to our booking platforms and, above all, customer service. Moreover, we are investing in the capabilities and relationships that allow us to pursue this kind of innovation.
“We look forward to advancing the industry dialogue on how to achieve innovation through the educational content and research we have prioritized as part of our relationship with ACTE.”
A recent ACTE poll indicates that new emphasis on the business traveler as a key link to increased corporate revenue is changing the standard approach to travel management. “A significant number of our members are exploring alternatives to the shaving and saving approach to business travel management,” said Koch. “Shaving a dollar here, a euro there, and a yen someplace else is not the best use of a travel manager’s time and talent. While cost savings is important, it is best viewed in context with generating corporate revenue.”
The worldwide capabilities of GBT are a good match for ACTE, which recently became the largest travel trade association source of global travel management educational programs, hosting 70 events in 20 countries. “ACTE is firmly established on six continents, a claim no other business travel association can make,” said Koch. “GBT is known everywhere.”