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The National Business Travel Association and six European business travel associations created a new "buyer-led, multinational European business travel and meetings network," called NBTA Europe.
Participating groups include the Danish Business Travel Association, the Iberian Business Travel Association of Spain, the Institute of Travel & Meetings of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Netherlands Association for Travel Management, the Norwegian Business Travel Association and the Swedish Business Travel Association.
NBTA Europe is offering members of these founding network partners one year of complimentary membership including access to research, benchmarking, Project Icaruscorporate social responsibility resources, special interest groups and reduced-rate education and networking. NBTA said it would extend its professional development programs to Europe and create a pan-European government travel special interest group and online directory with social networking tools.
NBTA Europe named as its chairman AstraZeneca global category leader for business travel Caroline Strachan, who will lead a newly formed advisory board for a two-year term. Strachan just ended a two-year term as ITM chair and was succeeded there by BBC sourcing head Jamie Hindhaugh. ITM CEO Paul Tilstone will serve as managing director for NBTA Europe, described in press statements as "powered by ITM." ITM has been contracted to manage the NBTA Europe network but noted that it planned to continue development of its own operations in the UK, Ireland and through an affiliate in South Africa.
"The network is led by a combination of buyer-led advisory board and partnership council, with each of the partner associations retaining a seat on the council to ensure the network maintains a European feel and focus," according to a prepared statement. "The advisory board buyer and supplier members are to be announced in the coming weeks."
NBTA Europe announced plans for "a number of events throughout the year," including a series of virtual forums to commence in March and a late fall conference-- plans for which were previously disclosed.
Describing the move as an "investment" in the European region, NBTA Global executive director and COO Mike McCormick said in a prepared statement, "NBTA Europe is the latest addition to NBTA's network of regional affiliates, which already connects members of organizations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States. NBTA members and our European partners have told us that they want NBTA to help them tap into an integrated network of colleagues across the globe."
The network evidently replaces the Paragon Partnership, which had included organizations in Austria, Brazil, Finland and Germany as well as the European partners announced as participating in NBTA Europe.
According to press statements, NBTA Europe "represents more than 2,000 regional corporate and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers. Members of the network collectively manage and direct more than €100 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually on behalf of more than 3 million business travelers within their organizations." NBTA said its members number more than 5,000 in 30 nations, but it and its regional affiliates in Asia-Pacific, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Mexico and the United States "serve a network of more than 17,000 business travel professionals" who collectively manage more than $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually for more than 13 million business travelers.
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