Simon Cleaver, Chairman of CTH, attended the 2013 GTMC Conference in Barcelona this April.
The GTMC (Guild of Travel Management Companies) is the industry association for the business travel sector and includes specialist travel management companies (representing over £7 billion of travel spend), as well as major airlines and hotel companies including British Airways, Emirates, Marriott and Best Western.
The GTMC 2013 Annual Conference is a fascinating programme of events included sessions on many specifics of the sector, but also seminars and workshops on wider issues such as business confidence, the politic macro-environment and leadership.
One highlight was a wide-ranging panel discussion led by British Airways on key issues facing business travelers, not least the problems of securing business visas as an impediment to world trade growth. There were great presentations by Avis/Budget car rentals and Sabre GDS too.
Lots of food for thought for the delegates, but possibly the biggest highlight was the inspirational talk by Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, a man described by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's greatest living explorer.
He is a man who has undertaken numerous expeditions; the first person to visit both the North and South Poles by surface means and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot. He even climbed to the summit of Mount Everest when already 65 years old! It was amazing to hear his life story and the delegates were left utterly inspired by what can be achieved with sufficient determination - Truly a 'life lesson' to all!