< PrevNext > Clive Wratten, The Business Travel Association Chief Executive The Advocate By Amon Cohen / December 10, 2020 Share One of corporate travel's strongest voices on either side of the Atlantic during the coronavirus crisis has been Clive Wratten. The chief executive of the Business Travel Association, representing travel management companies in the U.K., became a regular interviewee on news channels to argue for financial support and assistance in getting businesses flying again through effective testing, consistent quarantine policy and creation of air corridors.The visible profile helped a struggling sector draw hope that at least someone was batting on its behalf. But, said Wratten, more important was BTA activity "below the surface" through engagement with the U.K. government. Activities included representation on a global travel task force created by the Department for Transport, which also commissioned the BTA to conduct a survey of business travelers that was delivered to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.However, if Wratten succeeded in gaining the ear of government, it must at times have felt like a tin ear, as the travel industry was ill-served by a series of seemingly incoherent and knee-jerk decisions, especially around quarantining. "What I've learned is that everything is a step along a journey," said Wratten. There have been more successful steps in recent weeks, including an extension of financial assistance for furloughed employees and a relaxation of quarantine restrictions on certain categories of business travel.Under Wratten, BTA also was swift to support the many corporate travel personnel who lost jobs in 2020. It launched BTA Cares, a mentoring program that advises on preparing CVs, interview presentation and transferring skills to other sectors.Wratten, a former TMC and airline executive, showed great empathy and humility in a series of social media posts where he was frank about the mental toll he has paid for fighting to save his sector. "I have had some major highs and lows, and I have found it depressing at times. I wanted to share that with people," he said. Wratten has seen many industry friends, including both partners in married couples, lose their jobs. "It can't help but affect you when you hear about it every day," he says.Refreshing candor was also evident in a much-discussed white paper published jointly by BTA calling for reform of fee structures for TMCs but also greater transparency from TMCs over the two-thirds of their income earned from suppliers.