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What will shape global business travel in 2023?

A new poll by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has revealed the key factors and trends that will shape global business travel in 2023 and beyond.

The business travel industry is expected to continue its growth momentum, with worldwide spending projected to reach $1.16 trillion in 2023.

Meanwhile, the UK is set to witness the biggest exhibition on robotics and automation in the next month.

Other stories cover a key partner sign-up by The Business of Events, refinancing by GL Events and a new appointment by UFI to boost its advocacy efforts.

Read your full Week in Events below.

Poll unveils drivers shaping global business travel

GBTA’s latest Q2 2023 Business Travel Outlook Poll has uncovered the top drivers that will define global business travel.

These drivers are based around – new distribution capability (NDC), rebuilding the industry workforce and the business traveller experience.

Here are the highlights:

Evolution in Airline Retailing

Current scenario 👉 48% haven’t implemented NDC yet. Around 1/3rd intermediary stakeholders are facing challenges in implementing NDC. And 81% said they required more information on NDC.

Industry opinion

➡️ 47% of poll respondents do not support efforts to expedite NDC vs 34% who support and 20% who aren’t aware of what NDC is.

➡️ 36% said their travel programme has been affected by the move to implement NDC; 29% said it hasn’t impacted them

Rebuilding the business travel workforce

Current scenario 👉 The biggest barriers to setting up a robust workforce are salary and benefits (69%), lack of desired candidates (50%) and hiring and training people outside the industry (46%)

Industry opinion

➡️ 58% of respondents said they are facing labour shortages or hiring challenges. However, 36% said they weren’t facing any significant issues.

➡️ Most in-demand roles are in tech (31%), entry level/operations (26%), sales and account management (24%), travel consultants/agents (17%)

State of business travel experience

Current scenario 👉 Domestic travel booking have reached to 72% of 2019 pre-pandemic levels, with spending recovering to 74%. International bookings have rebounded to 63% with spending levels back to 66% .

Industry Opinion

➡️ 31% said their recent travel experience was somewhat pleasant, 29% said it was very pleasant.

➡️ 41% said concerns about travel disruptions had somewhat reduced their willingness to travel for work while 9% said this was a major factor.

Automation UK poised to be the largest robotics exhibition in the UK

The UK is set to witness the largest exhibition on robotics and automation in June 2023.

Organised by the British Automation & Robot Association (BARA), Automation UK will showcase key aspects of robotics and system integration.

Key names exhibiting at the event will be ABB, CKF, FANUC, Festo, KUKA Robotics, Mills CNC plus 40 other companies.

Automation UK will highlight the latest innovative tech in the automation and robotics market as well as hold live demonstrations of the latest machines.

automation uk

Also held alongside will be the UK Industrial Vision Association’s (UKIVA) Machine Vision Conference (MVC).

It will showcase the latest key developments in industrial vision and imaging systems.

Mark Stepney, managing director of Schubert UK said: “Automation UK and MVC will be the largest annual event in the UK to showcase leading robotic and vision suppliers.

“Aside from being able to view live demonstrations of the latest machines, talk to exhibitors face-to-face and gain the latest market intelligence from industry experts, we have a very competitive offer for exhibitors and one we believe they will find very attractive, not least because the show is open to all suppliers and prospective purchasers.”

The events will be hosted at the Coventry Building Society Arena between June 20-21 2023.

The Business of Events confirms ICC Wales as key partner for 2023

UK-based think tank The Business of Events has confirmed ICC Wales as its new official partner for 2023.

ICC Wales is a leading events player in the UK and has hosted high-ticket shows like International Golf Travel Market, the Independent Schools Bursars’ Association annual conference and the 2023 BetVictor Welsh Open Snooker.

Martin Fullard, Director, News and Content, The Business of Events, said: “ICC Wales is a key venue in the UK, located at the gateway to Wales. It represents the future of the sector, with the multi-million-pound venue placing strong emphasis on sustainability, future-building, and excellence in service.

“ICC Wales are at the coalface of business and event sentiment in the Western Gateway region and that experience makes them a valuable partner to support our work in developing policy initiatives for wider events sector.”

Ian Edwards, CEO, ICC Wales said: “With its direct connections to Government and the public sector, The Business of Events provides an excellent platform for leaders to convene and discuss critical issues, solutions, and best practices.

“The events and intelligence generated by The Business of Events is excellent for sharing with our clients and for shaping our future approach and ideas for the business. I look forward to continuing our partnership with The Business of Events in 2023 and attending its programme of events.”

The think tank plans to announce more major partners soon.

GL Events announces early refinancing of £132m RCF

France-based event industry group GL Events has announced early refinancing of its £132 million revolving credit facility (RCF).

The RCF refinancing includes a five-year maturity and an optional two-year extension.

The group has also secured a new loan to the tune of £60mn, repayable over five years.

Olivier Ginon, Chairman-CEO of GL events Group, said: “GL events welcomes the conclusion of this refinancing agreement which extends the maturity of its financial debt and reflects our strategy of further reducing our gross debt at the end of 2023 and supporting the Group’s development.

“It is also a testimony to our banking partners’ continuing confidence in our business model and I sincerely thank them for their unwavering support over the years.”

UFI appoints Peirui Tan as new Programme Manager

UFI has strengthened its advocacy efforts with the appointment of former Business Events Sydney (BESydney) director Peirui Tan.

Peirui joins UFI as Programme Manager for Advocacy and Alliances.

She will drive advocacy efforts for the global exhibition industry and industry-wide initiatives while working with UFI members and partners.

Hailing from Singapore, Peirui has earlier worked with the Singapore Tourism Board and more recently with BESydney, bringing expertise in government engagement, strategy development and relationship management.

Adeline Vancauwelaert, UFI COO, said: “UFI’s work around advocacy issues has multiplied in recent years, so we decided to create a new position that will focus on such activities.

“As our industry continues to evolve, we must work together to strengthen our networks, collaborate on an international scale, and advocate for the interests of our members.

“We are excited to have Peirui on board and look forward to the positive impact she will bring to UFI and the entire industry.”

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