The possibility of merger talks resuming between the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and National Business Travel Association were furthered by the election of a senior BCD Travel executive as ACTE's new president.
The ACTE board's vote in favor of Chris Crowley, senior vice president of sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia/Pacific, was announced as ACTE opened its global conference in Prague this week. Crowley will becomes president-elect on Jan. 1 and succeed the incumbent, Richard Crum, after ACTE's next global conference in Chicago in May 2010.
BCD Travel publicly has stated its wish for the world's two leading travel management organizations to merge, (BTNonline, June 25)
, a stance joined by several other travel suppliers, and sources told BTN
Crowley stood for the ACTE presidency on a ticket of renewed engagement with other industry associations.
"My wish is to continue dialogue between the two organizations," Crowley said. "We need to speak in a different way as an industry and it would be good to sit down with other organizations and see how we can work together to do that."
Merger talks between NBTA and ACTE started earlier this year, but have made little progress since August (BTNonline, Aug. 23)
At a press conference this week in Prague, Crum said, "the door is open" for further dialogue with NBTA but insisted the association remains in good health.
"We didn't reduce our programming this year and our sponsorship is as strong as ever," he said. "We should have shut down a couple of times by now, if the rumors are to be believed."
Crowley, who is based in London, has worked in the travel industry for 18 years. He originally worked in sales for Accor and other hotel companies before joining BCD in 2005. Crowley is set to become Europe's first ACTE president.
ACTE has said its next global conference in Europe will be in Berlin in October 2010.