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15 June 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has launched an Africa division in association with Institute of Travel & Meetings Southern Africa (ITMSA).
GBTA Africa begins with 119 ITMSA members with plans to increase this. “With a strong, local, buyer-led partner and Africa predicted to boom in 2020, the creation of GBTA Africa makes perfect sense,” said Michael McCormick, COO and executive director of the GBTA.
Paul Tilstone, managing director of GBTA Europe told SM: “The biggest element of travel is in the South African market, whose greatest trading partner is China, a market that is the next biggest growth area. There are also pockets of travel management activity in Nigeria and Angola related to oil and gas. Then north African states like Egypt - although with the Arab Spring it has been challenged. The real opportunity for travel management is going to be in about seven or eight years from now.
“And having a position in Africa we can help those that have or plan to have global programmes with travel to the African market, to understand how best they can manage their travel.”
GBTA is partnering ITMSA to create joint conferences, including the ITMSA & GBTA Africa 2012 Conference and the GBTA Africa Energy & Resources Travel Symposium 2013. There are also plans to introduce education and training programmes from the GBTA academy.