The Business Travel Association’s 2021 conference got
underway in Liverpool on Monday with a plea from its chairperson to focus on
community – rather than competition – in order to “emerge stronger and more
agile than ever”.
Suzanne Horner, BTA chairwoman and chief executive of Gray
Dawes Travel, opened proceedings with a warning that “we are not out of the
woods yet” and urged TMC members and suppliers to work together for the greater
good of the industry.
“While we are all competitors, we are also colleagues and we
carry the weight of rebuilding our industry,” she told delegates. “But we
cannot do this alone… we need our suppliers and they need us. We must continue
to work together as one. We must continue to work through the challenges and
opportunities that lie ahead of us together and we must continue to recognise
that we need this whole community to work together for us all to come out
stronger on the other side.”
Horner also urged suppliers to be mindful of how new
products, processes and protocols impact TMCs.
“We have businesses that need to recover and we need the
help and support of our suppliers to ensure that we can do that. The traffic
lights are slowly turning green and travel is returning… let’s all ensure that
we all share the positive return as one and that nobody gets ahead by making
life difficult for others.
“Let’s all prepare and plot our recovery, but most
importantly let’s all do this together and emerge stronger and more agile than