The ACTE/BCD Travel Central America Education Partner Event, held in San Jose de Costa Rica on 9 April, drew an unprecedented attendance of more than 140 from the business travel industry in nine countries, with a third of the audience representing corporate buyers.
Of all the topics discussed at the event, the most prominent was the necessity for organizations to consolidate their travel plan under the responsibility of one trusted travel management company.
Noted presenter Alejandra Robledo, Coordinadora Regional de Viajes Corporativos, Wal-Mart Centro America, "My biggest message was that it is truly important to consolidate all travel expenses to one single supplier and that the travel agency is in charge of managing and implementing the client's travel plan. Ultimately though, it is the client's responsibility to speak directly with the supplier to make sure their plans and their agreements are being implemented and negotiated the way they envisioned."
A roundtable session on the concerns of travel managers produced agreement among the participants on the need for consolidating business travel. The group determined that it is essential for the TMC to offer the appropriate logistical and technological support, creating a stable operation with centralized data information. In the end, it was deemed that the most important function of the TMC is to offer a balance between costs and services that effectively accomplishes the organization's regional travel objectives.
"The roundtable discussion was an excellent opportunity for travel managers to exchange ideas and points of view," said Esteban Lapeira, Procurement Manager for IBM Costa Rica.
Some of the top global companies were represented at the ACTE Central America Educational Event including Wal-Mart, Ericsson, BBDO, Durman, IBM, AC Nielsen, USAID, Merck Sharp Dohme, Griffith Laboratories, Allergan, IICA, Pfizer, Roche Citi, Citigroup, BASF, Chiquita, The Nature Conservancy, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Rainforest Alliance, plus many others. Attendees to the event hailed from nine countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, United States, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Guatemala.
"We are very pleased and excited about the turnout for this event, which is the largest organized to date in Costa Rica for the corporate travel industry," Elisa Brennes, Copa Airlines Country Manager, said. "As one of the sponsors for the event, we are grateful to ACTE as a partner in this region, and look forward to further collaborations with them."
Related Leidy Corrales, Procurement Manager for Merck Sharp & Dome, "This was a valuable event for me, not only to listen to other corporations' best practices, but also to confirm that we are on the right track in negotiating with our suppliers."
In 2008, ACTE will host a series of educational events throughout the Latin American region: Bogotá, Mexico City, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Guadalajara.
In North America, the ACTE Global Education Conference in Washington, D.C. will take place 18-20 May, and will feature a stellar line-up of international keynote presenters: world renowned economist Dr. Kjell Nordstrom; Ambassador John Bruton, European Union Commission Head of Delegation; Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA); David Sanger, White House Correspondent, The New York Times, and Amber MacArthur, Canadian tech journalist and social networking expert.
ACTE educational events offer the global business travel industry an environment for insightful, motivated people to come together and work closely to build a solid community of like minds. For more information, please go to www.acte.org.
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) represents the global business travel industry through its international advocacy efforts, executive level educational programs, and independent industry research. ACTE's membership consists of senior travel industry executives from 82 countries representing the €200 billion business travel industry. With the support of sponsors from every major segment of the business travel industry, ACTE develops and delivers educational programs in key business centers throughout the world. ACTE has offices in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and the United States. For more information on ACTE, please go to www.acte.org.
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