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GBTA Introduces Global Equity Program for Emerging Market Business Travel Professionals

Friday, June 21, 2024

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GBTA launches the Global Equity Program, offering sponsored memberships to support business travel professionals in emerging markets.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), a leading international organization for business travel, introduced its Global Equity Program (GEP). This initiative offers professionals in emerging markets a one-year sponsored GBTA membership, providing exclusive access to industry-specific education, networking, and career development opportunities.

To be eligible, individuals must be business travel professionals residing in countries classified by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as low to upper-middle income. They must also hold a salaried role in the business travel industry and work for a company that does not cover the cost of GBTA membership.

The application process for the GEP is now live online. Marriott International is the program’s inaugural sponsor, covering the cost of annual GBTA memberships for the first 20 approved participants.

“GBTA is committed to improving access to ever-expanding set of professional resources while continuing to foster a growing network of members in underserved countries,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO at GBTA. “Thanks to the generosity of Marriott, we’re excited to make this vision a reality by providing underrepresented business travel professionals with opportunities to excel in their careers and contribute to their company’s success. We also look forward to welcoming more program sponsors and to the contributions of new and diverse voices in the GBTA community.” 

Applications will be accepted until July 18th or until the current slots are filled. Following this, additional applicants will be placed on a waitlist for future openings. Notifications of acceptance will go out in August, with plans to launch more cohorts later in the year as more sponsors join.

“We are thrilled to see GBTA launch the Global Equity Program. We were honored when they invited us to become involved − we didn’t even question it,” said Tammy Routh, President, Allied Leadership Council, GBTA and Senior Vice President, Global Sales Organization at Marriott International. “If we let cost get in the way of someone contributing to our industry and accessing all the tools, education and opportunities GBTA has to offer, that means our industry’s representation is not inclusive of all its best thinkers. We see our support of GBTA’s GEP as doing what’s right to welcome diverse voices that are poised to move the global business travel industry forward.” 

Once accepted, members’ benefits will be activated within two weeks. These benefits include access to a private network of business travel professionals, educational programs, professional growth through accreditation and training, exclusive industry insights including research, surveys, and templates, as well as a wealth of on-demand content.

The GBTA is headquartered near Washington, D.C., and operates globally across six continents. It boasts over 9,000 members and manages more than $345 billion in business travel and meeting expenditures annually.

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