GBTA Expands to Africa

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) now is truly "global" in nature thanks to the formation of GBTA Africa, it announced yesterday. Supported by the Institute of Travel & Meetings Southern Africa (ITMSA) — an affiliate of ITM in the United Kingdom that will manage the association's development in the region — GBTA's latest outgrowth gives the organization a presence on six continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.

"With a strong, local, buyer-led partner and Africa predicted to boom in 2020 the creation of GBTA Africa makes perfect sense," said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick, who said GBTA hopes to develop a specialist event for Africa's energy sector in 2013. "The successful development of our networks and activity into the energy and resources sector in other parts of the world also means we are well placed to bring value to travel professionals in the region."

In addition to its energy event, GBTA plans to create a joint conference with ITMSA in September 2012 to introduce education and training programs to Africa's business travel community.

"GBTA can offer African travel professionals so much in terms of development and resources," said ITMSA Chairman Linda Basson. "We are proud and delighted to be their key regional partner working to develop the association across the region."

All 119 of its members will gain direct membership of GBTA Africa, according to ITMSA, which plans to "significantly increase" GBTA membership across Africa.