Industry Update
Press Release10 June 2021

GBTA Calls for Action as World Leaders meet at G7 Summit

Consistent International Travel Protocols Needed for Global Economic Recovery

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The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest business travel association, is calling for world leaders of the G7 countries to lead conversations for a seamless return of international travel to boost the global economic recovery.

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Aviation and business travel are critical factors in the success of the global economy and international relations. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, an international approach to recognized standards is crucial to re-start travel.

“We need strong political impetus and decisive action at an international level to develop a roadmap to safely re-open travel and restore confidence. The G7 summit provides that platform,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO - GBTA, adding: “The business travel industry – as many other sectors of our economies – has suffered from the various lockdowns and restrictions on free movement of people. Since April 1, 2020, global spending on business travel plummeted 68% over the same period from 2019. Global recognition of Digital Health Certificates is required for a safe and effective restart of business travel.”

To restart international business travel, GBTA is calling for governments to take immediate steps to align on how health certificates for Covid-19 test results and vaccines will be accredited and mutually recognised by country authorities around the world. “Defining an internationally agreed-upon framework for the regulation of secure, trusted digital Covid-19 health certificates will remove complexity for travelers and airlines, and accelerate the safe return of international business travel. Facilitating a global travel framework is an opportunity for G7 countries to show leadership while championing international trade and economic growth,” said Neufang.

To further the point of a need for a single universal approach, GBTA’s latest poll reveals that three out of four buyer and procurement respondents think issuing government issued COVID 19 health certificates is either ‘very effective’ or ‘effective’ in aiding the restart of business travel.

The European Union is finalizing a framework for member states to follow a single set of rules and protocols. Countries, companies and other organisations are already developing platforms and apps, but the critical factor is that governments must agree on what will be mutually recognised for cross-border travel.

The G7’s aim, therefore, must be to agree upon a common approach to:

  1. Verifying and sharing Covid 19 Health Certificates across borders.
  2. Ensuring that these validated Covid 19 Health Certificates flow seamlessly into existing processes undertaken by airlines and border forces around the world.

The global business travel industry is committed to finding a common position at both an individual company level and through wider industry association engagement. Governments need to support these efforts and agree upon a common approach.

About the Global Business Travel Association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world's premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA's 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, visit www.gbta.org.

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