The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has acquired key assets of the defunct Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) as part of its pledge to unify the industry and help lead business travel out of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are beyond thrilled to bring GBTA and ACTE together, creating one home for the thousands of business travel professionals who will collectively bring back business travel bigger and better than ever,” says GBTA president, Bhart Sarin.
As part of the integration effort, two former ACTE board members will join the GBTA global board of directors. Alison Taylor, chief customer officer of American Airlines, and Steve Sitto, senior manager of global travel and events for Tesla, will serve the remainder of the vacant ALC vice-presidency and direct member at-large terms, respectively. Both terms will be completed at the time of the GBTA convention in July 2021.
In addition, a committee led by GBTA chair, Christle Johnson, and former ACTE executive director and current DigitTravel Consulting senior vice-president, Greeley Koch, will work together with GBTA staff and industry volunteers to identify the best value a combined GBTA and ACTE can deliver to its members.
“This very challenging year has presented us with a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Sarin. “We look forward to creating the world’s best association for travel professionals to learn, network and grow.”
GBTA is the world’s largest business travel association with more than 9,000 members and operations on six continents. It delivers education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts.
ACTE ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy in July, citing economic losses from the pandemic and its 2019 ACTE Global Summit, which was cancelled because of the protests in Hong Kong. The association represented the global business travel industry through international advocacy efforts, executive level educational programs and independent industry research. Its membership consisted of senior travel industry executives from 82 countries and delivered educational programs in key business centres throughout the world.