14 DECEMBER 2020


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Article from BTNews 14 DECEMBER 2020

COMMENT: From BTN's Editor-in-Chief

Finding words to describe 2020 is not easy.

BTN would prefer to forget the last nine months although in truth many harsh lessons have been learnt.

As these remarks are written the United Kingdom is not sure where its future lies, except that it is an independent country and not part of a European federation.  It makes its own laws to suit the UK.

This year is in the past and we can only look to the future, especially in the complex world of business travel.

Business Travel News in its own way covers the whole spectrum, the actual travellers and their booking procedures, individually, by company or travel service provider; and the actual movement component whether it be airline, airport or landside service provider.  Plus the complex industry providing the background to it all.  What BTN tries to do is introduce the news in an uncomplicated way, for readers to follow up, with perhaps a little humour.  This package seems to work.

Zoom, Webinar and video conferencing are here to stay but their role is limited.  

Last week’s successful FTE-APEX virtual gathering was OK but not the real thing.  World Travel Market and World Aviation Conference followed the same theme but were not physical events.  The next FTE-APEX is scheduled for Long Beach (LA) October 2021 with European and Los Angeles events earlier in the year.  The ideal is a packed auditorium with perhaps an individual speaker appearing on a huge screen.  Delegates can then network! And it is the meeting face to face (at 2m) that really counts.  All of us can recall that chance encounter or introduction that was a life changer, whether on a personal basis, or in terms of business.

It is not going to happen overnight but with the advent of vaccines and hopefully a common travel passport the industry needs to set an example and get travelling.  And the more travel the need for rest is required.  And with that more leisure tourism!

Malcolm Ginsberg

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Chris Pocock, Uxbridge, UK

I think this year's experience will prompt conference organisers to organise 'hybrid' events in the future. A 'live' audience and some speakers, but other speakers remotely. Perhaps even a live feed of the event to other locations in other countries, with a live paying audience there too.

James Cole, Uk

I only disagree with your Brexiteer opening. We remember 1918 for the senseless deaths on Flanders Fields, not the Spanish Flu. We will remember 2020 for the senseless destruction of the UK\'s membership of Europe long after Covid-19 is forgotten.

Fred Hope, London

Last week Dale Keller wrote a superb ON THE SOAPBOX. He struck a very good balance. We do need to get passengers back on board as soon as possible.

Jean Southgate, Westminster

Well done BTN. I’ve not agreed with all your comments, but you have the right attitude to the industry.

Phil Wiseman,

All the best to Malcolm and the team at BTN. Reporting all the business travel news with restricted staff over the last few months could not have been easy.