Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

Current News

November 06, 2019
Caesars Forum Construction and Business Milestones Announced

Caesars Entertainment's new 550,000-square-foot meeting and conference facility 70% completed and on schedule to open March 2020. Over $390 million contracted for meetings and events. One million room nights booked.

Las Vegas, NV—Caesars Entertainment, one of the most diversified casino-entertainment companies in the world, announced today more than one million room nights and over $390 million is contracted for meetings and events at CAESARS FORUM through 2020 and beyond. CAESARS FORUM, the new, 550,000-square-foot conference facility in Las Vegas, is set to open in March 2020 and is 70% complete, with crews working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to finish the project.

In the last 20 months, more than 125 contracts for meetings and events have been signed. Over 75% of the business booked occurs within the first three years of operations and over 70% represent new business to Caesars Entertainment. Meetings and events industry leaders ConferenceDirect, Cvent, HelmsBriscoe, Meeting Professionals International and Professional Convention Management Association have selected CAESARS FORUM for their annual meetings. 

"One million room nights booked before opening far exceeds our expectations and is a testament to the hard work of our sales team, and customers' excitement about CAESARS FORUM," said Michael Massari, Chief Sales Officer, Caesars Entertainment. "CAESARS FORUM construction is on track and I'm thrilled with our progress. The building exterior is complete, and the team is working diligently on the interior, staying on schedule to open next March. Operationally, we have the core team in place and have already begun planning events for 2020 and beyond."

The $375 million conference center will carry a LEED silver certification and features the world's two largest pillarless ballrooms - each equivalent to one football field in length. CAESARS FORUM will be the first facility of this size built on one level, and the adjacent Forum Plaza will be the first 100,000 square-foot dedicated outdoor event space in Las Vegas.

Additional features:  

  • Direct access to 8,500 hotel rooms at Harrah's Las Vegas, LINQ Hotel + Experience and Flamingo Las Vegas, and within walking distance to 20,000 Caesars Entertainment hotel rooms, including Caesars Palace.
  • More than 300,000 square-feet of flexible meeting space, including the two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world both 110,000 square feet, two 40,000 square-foot ballrooms and six state-of-the-art boardrooms.
  • Accommodates more than 10,000 participants and offers more than 100 break-out rooms.
  • Divides into limitless configurations, with 2.1 miles of airwalls.

A dedicated heart of house, equipped with state-of-the-art culinary equipment, providing participants with restaurant-quality dining. 

About Meetings and Events at Caesars Entertainment Corporation
The world's most geographically diversified casino-entertainment company, Caesars Entertainment offers meeting and event planners one dedicated team, united nationwide, committed to providing the most successful meeting experiences possible. With one call or email, planners have access to nearly 40 properties in 20 unique destinations, with 2.1 million square feet of meeting space and more than 40,000 guest rooms. Mix and match properties and venues within a destination under a single contract and minimum. Enjoy elite perks, rewards and privileges with our Caesars Rewards Meeting Diamond Program. For more information, please visit and

About Caesars Entertainment Corporation

Caesars Entertainment is one of the world's most diversified casino-entertainment providers and the most geographically diverse U.S. casino-entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, in 1937, Caesars Entertainment has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions. Caesars Entertainment's resorts operate primarily under the Caesars®, Harrah's® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars Entertainment's portfolio also includes the Caesars Entertainment UK family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Caesars Entertainment is committed to its employees, suppliers, communities and the environment through its PEOPLE PLANET PLAY framework. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts

Ishma Haider
Marketing Manager 
Caesars Entertainment
(702) 667-1695

Reina Herschdorfer
Director of Marketing
Caesars Entertainment
(702) 866-1116

November 06, 2019
New Research Reveals Top Concerns Among Canadian Business Travellers

Business travellers report feeling stressed and unsafe with female and LGBTQ+ travellers regularly experiencing harassment according to an SAP® Concur® survey

Toronto/CNW/—SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) has announced the results of a new SAP® Concur® survey revealing that more than 4 in 5 Canadian female business travellers have faced harassment while travelling. SAP Concur, the world's leading brand for expense, travel, and invoice management solutions, identified concerns of personal safety while on the road and frustration around ineffective booking and reimbursement experiences.

"This research clearly shows employees aren't getting what they need from their employers while travelling for business," said Victoria DeBoon, Director of Sales at SAP Concur Canada. "Organizations of all sizes shouldn't let these concerns go unnoticed. Employees want more support, resources and technology that will improve their overall experience and increase feelings of security while on the road."

The survey of 7,850 business travellers in 19 global markets included 500 within Canada. Notable highlights are:

  • Globally, LGBTQ+ travellers are hiding aspects of their identity when travelling for work:
  • The vast majority (95%) of LGBTQ+ travellers have hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reasons being to protect their safety (57%).
  • Further, 85 per cent have changed their travel arrangements out of concern for their safety, compared to just 53 per cent of their non-LGBTQ+ colleagues.
  • Among Canadians, female travellers face striking levels of harassment and sexism on the road:
  • More than 4 in 5 Canadian female business travellers (81%) have experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while travelling, and nearly half (46%) have been asked if they were travelling with their husband.
  • Canadians are stressed when planning for a business trip, but expense reimbursement is the real pain point:
  • A lack of clear-cut policy is impacting employees who are feeling more stressed at the office than on the road. To Canadian business travellers, before the trip (47%)—when they have to plan, book and organize—is the most stressful stage.
  • Though Canadian business travellers dread planning their trip the most, the processes after the trip are still a notable pain point. In fact, over 1 in 4 Canadian business travellers (26%) would rather have a cavity filled at the dentist than fill out an expense report after a business trip.
  • The primary reason for loathing expense reports is the delay in reimbursement. Canadian business travellers report that employers have taken, on average, up to 11 days to reimburse them for a business trip expense.
  • These delays in reimbursement for expenses are affecting Canadian business travellers' trust in their companies: Over half (54%) of Canadian business travellers report they forfeited expenses in 2018, either because they did not think the expense was worth filing or—more troublingly—because their employer simply never paid them the money they're owed. They have forfeited an average of $1,421 CAD from expenses that weren't reimbursed by their employers.
  • Canadian business travellers turning to technology to improve employee experience:
  • Canadian business travellers have become accustomed to using apps and smart devices to enhance their daily lives, but they don't believe their companies have kept up with the times.
  • Canadians surveyed have the third-highest rate of agreement that their company is behind in adopting the latest technologies to manage travel (73%), compared to the global sentiment (67%).
  • Canadians who say their company is lagging note booking and expense reporting tools (61%) and travel safety tools (57%) as the technologies that need the most attention. 
  • Even those whose companies are taking advantage of technology see room for improvement. More than 3 in 5 business travellers who use an online booking tool (62%) report their companies are behind in adopting booking and expense reporting tools, compared to the 53 per cent of those who do not use an online booking tool.

More results of the Global Business Traveler Survey can be found at

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (, a leading independent provider of quantitative, qualitative and hybrid market research, among 7,850 business travelers, defined as those who travel for business three or more times annually from the following markets: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. The survey took place July–August 2019.

About SAP Concur
SAP® Concur® is the world's leading brand for integrated travel, expense, and invoice management solutions, driven by a relentless pursuit to simplify and automate these everyday processes. The top-rated SAP Concur mobile app guides employees through every trip, charges are effortlessly populated into expense reports, and invoice approvals are automated. By integrating near real-time data and using AI to audit 100% of transactions, businesses can see exactly what they're spending without worrying about blind spots in the budget. SAP Concur solutions eliminate yesterday's tedious tasks, make today's work easier, and help businesses run at their best every day. Learn more at or the SAP Concur blog.

About SAP
As the Experience Company powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP is market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies run better. SAP applications and services enable our customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

November 04, 2019
Delta Hotels By Marriott Toronto Mississauga Opens Offering Guests Quality and all the Essentials

Mississauga, Canada – Delta Hotels and Resorts announced today the official opening of Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Mississauga in partnership with Vrancor Group, an award-winning Canadian development and hospitality company.

“Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Mississauga marks the continuation of a period of exciting growth for the award-winning Delta brand,” said Paul Cahill, Global Brand Leader Delta Hotels & Resorts, Area Vice President of Operations, Canada. “Delta’s design and service enables guests to have a seamless travel experience that allows them to focus on what’s important. It is simple made perfect.”

Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Mississauga provides a seamless, full-service hotel experience ideally located in Mississauga City Centre. Thoughtfully designed with the frequent traveler in mind, both business and leisure guests enjoy amenities that provide smart value including fast, free Wi-Fi, complimentary bottled water, an expanded fitness centre and indoor saltwater pool. Choose from over 315 comfortable and stylish guest rooms and suites, offering upscale décor, plush bedding, smart desks and convenient amenities. Grab your favourite coffee at Starbucks® Delta Mississauga Centre or enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in our new restaurant, Driftwood Social Bar + Table. Our heart of the city location offers outstanding access to must-see attractions including Square One Shopping Centre, Living Arts Centre, Celebration Square and Mississauga City Hall, all just a short walk from the hotel. Enjoy easy access to all major highways, Toronto's Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and sporting events at Paramount Fine Foods Centre.

“Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Mississauga offers the best of what guests need, from state-of-the-art technology to intuitive design to meet the needs of modern business and leisure travelers,” said Darko Vranich, CEO and President, Vrancor Group. “We are thrilled to continue doing business in Mississauga and to introduce this fast-growing brand into the market.”

The Delta Hotels and Resorts brand encompasses a rich Canadian history and is a great complement to the Marriott International portfolio. Its recent expansion into North America in Orlando signals Marriott’s plans to grow Delta’s hospitality globally to major gateway cities including New York, Shanghai and London. The development pipeline currently brings the brand offerings to almost 70 hotels.

Delta is a member of the award-winning Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. Guests can gain exclusive access to even more digital features through the Marriott Mobile app when they book direct, including mobile check-in and checkout, keyless entry and Mobile Requests to make their travel experience seamless. Marriott Bonvoy members will also earn points for their stay at Delta Hotels and can redeem for hotel stays across the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of brands.

To learn more about Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Mississauga, please visit

About Vrancor Group

Vrancor Group is one of the top hospitality companies in Ontario and an award-winning leader in property management and development. Committed to smart growth, we effectively adapt to changing market demands in order to deliver market leading ROI. Vrancor’s experienced and diverse corporate team offers expertise in multiple disciplines including operations, finance, sales, marketing and human resources. We specialize in building, (re)developing and managing award-winning properties in Ontario. When it comes to hotel, residential or commercial spaces – we know our game, and are one of its leading players. We pride ourselves in creating a sense of uniqueness and individuality for each of our properties, something which has earned us a reputation for innovative leadership, sound judgment and extraordinary guest satisfaction. Visit for more information and connect with Vrancor at,,

About Delta Hotels and Resorts.  One of North America’s leading four-star brands, Delta Hotels, with nearly 70 locations in gateway cities across the US, Canada, China, and Germany was acquired by Marriott International in 2015. Delta’s distinct style of simple made perfect provides guests with exactly what they need for a seamless travel experience. The brand’s invitingly familiar rooms, free Wi-Fi and convenient dining options, offer travelers a comfortable and stylish place to stay. For more information or reservations, visit Stay connected to Delta Hotels on Facebook, @DeltaHotelsLtd on Twitter and @deltahotels on Instagram. Delta Hotels and Resorts is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the new name of Marriott’s travel program replacing Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG). The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including earning points toward free hotel stays and nights toward Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit

Karen McQuade
Regional Director, Sales & Marketing
Vrancor Hospitality
366 King Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 1B3
P: (905) 320-0172

November 01, 2019
Creative Group: The new “home” of Canadian meetings and incentive players SM+i and Meridican

In what is planned as a new era of sharing and motivation, Janet Traphagen, President of Chicago-based Creative Group, met recently with 60 members of the meetings and incentives teams from Creative Group’s Canadian operations, formerly SM+i and Meridican.

The new incentive powerhouse is a result of the merger of Canada’s Vision Travel (owner of Strategic Meetings + Incentives, or SM+i) with the United States’ Direct Travel in 2017. In September 2019, Direct Travel also acquired Meridican, a 30-year presence in the meetings and incentives industry. The two Canadian entities now operate as Creative Group under the current Canadian leadership team.

“This new and larger entity provides expanded opportunities for customers and broader career options for our staff,” says Traphagen. “For customers, we can provide increased buying power, additional offerings, expanded staff resources and best practices for a range of industries.  From the employee perspective, there are new career paths and increased training options. The cultures of our companies are so well-aligned that our joining together will be powerful.”

Creative Group is a full-service meeting, incentive and recognition company that delivers business results by inspiring people to thrive. An industry leader, Creative Group has been honoured with the CMI 25 Award which recognizes the top 25 most influential meeting and incentive management companies in the U.S. - and it has received the award every year since its inception in 2007.

Creative Group was founded in 1970 and serves clients in financial services, life sciences, insurance, manufacturing, retail, technology, automotive and hospitality. Employing over 260 people, the company is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois and maintains offices in Detroit, Denver, San Francisco and Appleton, Wisconsin and now Canada. Creative Group was acquired by Direct Travel in 2015.

The advantages to Direct Travel of the cross-border merger are multi-faceted and include Canadian resources, local currency, bilingual services and website design.

And because, just as the name says, meetings and incentive travel is all about creativity, the shared expertise and ingenuity of the teams is bound to be a plus. In one particularly creative motivational program for an automotive retailer in the U.S., Traphagen’s team shifted the locale of the annual incentive from Las Vegas and bought out the Dallas Cowboy Stadium for the 500 participants.  The goal was to encourage increased professionalism as the company shifted its focus from mid-range to luxury cars. There was no better place to showcase being a top professional or a pro than at the Dallas Cowboy Stadium. Training exercises, sports activities and being treated like a pro - complete with a motorcade to the stadium - brought the program to life. “It was a great example of theme creation and execution.  The result?  A very happy client and more a professional and motivated sales team,” she says.

Last year, the award-winning Creative Group in the U.S. organized a total of 825 programs with 155,000 attendees in 46 countries.

According to Traphagen, Creative Group’s role is to come to the customer with an idea that will shift their business. A vice president of design and insights has been recently hired to drive that entire initiative.

Future training meetings will cover sales training, recognition training and people management training.

And in the meantime, Traphagen says her message to her new Canadian colleagues is a warm welcome. “We are super excited to be expanding into Canada and we welcome all this incredible talent.”

Contact: Martha Chapman – 416-614-2845 for Creative Group

October 31, 2019
Meetings Mean Business Canada Launches Video Advocacy Campaign

Aligned with the Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) deliverables for 2019, the coalition has officially launched its “Telling our Story” campaign. The campaign consists of one 4-minute video and 11 vignettes, all of which are focused around the importance of the meetings and events industry to the Canadian economy and the impact that it has on the global economy too

Speaking about why the coalition created the series of videos, Heidi Welker, Chair Meetings Mean Business Canada commented “One of the 2019 goals was to develop a communications plan around “Telling our Story”. The committee, chaired by Debbie van der Beek, took this task very seriously and created some amazing video content. Phase 1 of the plan focused on Government Influence,” said Welker.  

“Our goal with these videos is to communicate the significant economic impact that the meeting and business events sector has on our country as well as on a global stage. It’s time for government officials and fellow Canadians to learn and recognize the importance of this industry on the economy and jobs. The meetings and business events industry will become an industry as recognized as the automotive, manufacturing or agriculture sector. The videos created a focus on sectors where Canada is a leader and the importance that meetings and business events have, in order to advance their sectors. It was truly a labour of love,” said Van der Beek.  

All of the videos are available for download from the toolkit page on the MMBC website.

About Meetings Mean Business Canada
Meetings Mean Business is the single advocacy voice of the meetings industry in Canada. Our key focus is to communicate the importance of these business events to stakeholders across the country in order to promote investment to ensure our industry prospers. Through our relationship with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), we communicate the economic and social value of face-to-face meetings and business events to elected officials at all levels of government. This is intended to assist our leaders in government as they shape policy and legislation to grow the industry across Canada.

For more information:


October 30, 2019
Terre Restaurant & Café Opens in St. John’s

Great Food Inspired by the Local Landscape and Nearby Sea

St. John’s (Newfoundland & Labrador) Excitement is in the air as Terre Restaurant & Café recently opened its doors. Located in the heart of St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, it is adjacent to the Alt Hotel. Since the much-anticipated opening, people have been coming in droves to discover Chef Matthew Swift’s cuisine. His dishes are inspired daily by ingredients that can be found locally, highlighting the best that local producers, farmers and small brands have to offer. General Manager Stelios Doussis, formerly of St. John’s Merchant Tavern and Fogo Island Inn, ensures that guests feel as comfortable and relaxed in the restaurant, as they would be at home.

For almost two decades, Chef Matthew Swift has been mastering his craft in kitchens in Ontario, notably Nota Bene and The Chase and more recently in Quebec at Vin Papillon and before leaving the mainland, Matthew was heading the kitchen of Joe Beef, the famed Montreal institution. When he and his girlfriend Clarah Germain visited St. John’s two years ago, they knew they would be back. “St. John’s is a small city with seriously good restaurants and people support that dining scene,” says Chef Swift. “I’m thrilled to be part of it and to work with the best that Newfoundland has to offer,” he concludes.

"In St. John's, I find values that are cherished in our family business," says Clarah Germain. As the Director of Customer Service at the Alt Hotel, I am proud to contribute to this great hospitality culture in my new adopted city."

Terre Restaurant also proposes an alternative for those in the mood for a quick bite or great coffee to-go: Terre Café. To satisfy those cravings, Terre Café is open for breakfast and until mid-afternoon. Freshly baked pastries and breads as well as made to order sandwiches or a comforting bowl of soup, all are made with the same care and premium ingredients that can be found at its big brother restaurant. Terre Café proudly serves St. John’s own 7th Wave Craft Roasted Coffee.

Terre Restaurant & Café seats 90 people and can privatize the space. Guests of the Alt Hotel St. John’s can also enjoy Terre Restaurant & Café’s exquisite cuisine, as the Restaurant is the Hotel’s caterer. Meetings, wedding receptions, special anniversaries, the Restaurant will be happy to work on a menu to make any event extra special.

A great source of inspiration, the Newfoundland & Labrador landscape was top of mind with local design firm Carvel and Helm, who have created the perfect setting so that guests can fully appreciate Chef Matthew Swift’s cuisine. Best described as casual chic and comfortable, the interior palette of Terre Restaurant & Bar brings the outside in, through the use of materials and texture. Carvel & Helm were inspired by the spectacular sunsets in the area, and their connection to the harsh landscape. The colour palette mixes rose-gold pinks with contrasting earthy tones. Much like the various textures that can be found in the surrounding woods and barren landscapes. Two paintings by local artist Michael Connelly complete this concept. “We were thrilled to collaborate with Michael Connelly on the large format landscape paintings, both installed in a recessed niche sitting area,’’ says Sarah Parker Charles, partner and interior designer at Carvel & Helm. ‘’The colour and texture was the perfect compliment to the clean modern interior”.

Whether you want to have a taste of what the island has to offer at Terre Restaurant & Bar or stay for a few days at the Alt Hotel to experience the city of St. John’s, the teams are eager to welcome you.  

About Alt Hotels by Le Germain
At Alt Hotels, we march to a different beat by giving guests the best of what they want without any extra fluff. Located in Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Brossard, Quebec City, Halifax, St. John’s, Calgary and Saskatoon, all of our properties are carefully crafted to combine eco-friendly comfort within sleek urban spaces – all designed with guests in mind. Alt Hotels. Stay unconventional.

About Germain Hotels
Germain Hotels is a Canadian family-run business that owns and operates Le Germain Hotels, Alt and Alt+ Hotels across Canada. Ranked as one of Canada’s best-managed companies, the business is known for its exceptional hospitality philosophy and the unique style that characterizes its hotels. Having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018, Germain Hotels has achieved its ambitious goal of having 20 hotels by 2020, the 1250-employee company’s ultimate goal is now to become the first independent, truly pan-Canadian hotel group. Visit Germain Hotels

October 24, 2019
Swoop Adds Two New Routes from London, ON to its Winter Schedule

Canadians can now fly direct to Cancún and Orlando from London, Ontario

CalgaryLondon, ON residents can escape the Canadian winter with the launch of Swoop's two new routes heading south of the border. Swoop, Canada's ultra-low-fare airline and subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Inc., will depart from London International Airport (YXU) to Cancún International Airport (CUN) on October 24 at 3 p.m. EDT, followed by the inaugural flight to OrlandoInternational Airport (MCO) on October 26 at 3:50 p.m. EDT. 

These inaugural flights kick off Swoop's London, ON winter schedule. Flights are available for booking now through to April 25, 2020. With twice-weekly service offered for both routes, Swoop travellers have more choices for their winter getaway. 

"We know many Canadians love to head to sun destinations in the winter, which is why we aim to provide more opportunities for Canadians to travel south at a price-point that works for them," said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. "These additions to our network marks our fifth and sixth year-round and seasonal routes from London." 

As tourism hubs, both Cancún and Orlando offer experiences for visitors of all ages and walks of life, providing exciting options that suit Swoop travellers' different travel styles. With affordable fares and an unbundled services model, Swoop is providing more Canadians with travel opportunities across North America. 

"We're thrilled to launch non-stop service to Cancún and Orlando from London with Swoop this week," said Michael Seabrook, President and CEO, London International Airport. "The addition of these routes offers passengers more ultra-low-cost options for their winter escape this season from our easy and comfortable airport." 

Swoop's twice-weekly service from London to Cancún departs on Thursdays and Saturdays, and from London to Orlando on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

Details of Swoop's service to Cancún and Orlando: 

Service Between

Service Offered

Weekly Frequency

Total one-way price from

London, ON to Cancún, MX


2 x per week

$118.00† CAD

Cancún, MX to London, ON


2 x per week

$69.00† CAD

London, ON to Orlando, FL


2 x per week

$79.00† CAD

Orlando, FL to  London, ON


2 x per week

$52.00† CAD


†Every day low fares valid through November 1, 2019 for travel between January 7 - February 12, 2020. 

To learn more about Swoop's destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit or connect with Swoop on FacebookTwitterInstagram

About Swoop
Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada's leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering point-to-point scheduled service to 17 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire.  

Swoop operates a modern fleet of eight Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Swoop's mobile app allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.  For more details on Swoop, visit

October 22, 2019
New study identifies the benefits and barriers to truly integrated travel programmes – and advises on how travel buyers can achieve their objectives

Alexandria, VaEnd-to-end travel management, where every step – from booking to payments, expense management and reporting – is integrated into a single seamless process, has long been a goal for corporate travel buyers. But a new report finds a large majority (72%) saying their programmes are only somewhat integrated. Published today by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in collaboration with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), “The Journey to Integrated Travel Management” examines how evolving technology and the varying needs of organisations’ stakeholders create barriers and gateways to true programme integration.

Integration Priorities & Objectives
Online booking tools (OBTs), not surprisingly, are the most commonly integrated element of respondents’ programmes (92%), followed by corporate cards (74%) and expense management platforms (60%). In terms of drivers of integration, travel managers rank visibility and control of expenses (70%), improved user experience (65%) and duty of care (58%) as their top three priorities.

Barriers & Resistance
Almost a quarter (22%) of travel managers have no further plans to integrate. Respondents identify a number of barriers to progress, including lack of resources (25%) and a perceived lack of internal and stakeholder support (30%). However, business travellers pose the biggest challenge to integration, with 37% of respondents reporting traveller adoption and unwillingness to change as their top barrier – despite the fact that travellers are also one of the main drivers for end-to-end integration, cited by more than a third (34%) of respondents.

“The corporate travel manager’s core mission is to set up business travellers for success – and integration efforts are key to creating these conditions,” said Leigh Bochicchio, executive director, ACTE. “Having to navigate a constellation of tools and technology to plan a trip can hinder productivity for travellers. End-to-end travel programmes solve for this issue, and at the end of the day, everyone wins: the traveller, the travel manager and the organisation as a whole."

Supporting Change
Internal stakeholders in procurement (53%) and finance (45%) are top drivers of change, with business travellers just behind. Knowing that cost-savings and compliance are key objectives for integration, it’s important for travel buyers to secure buy-in from these stakeholder groups.

The complexity of end-to-end integration demands not only internal advocacy but support from all partners in the travel workflow. Travel managers say that technology platform providers (62%), travel management companies (TMCs) (59%), payment providers (39%) and suppliers (33%) are instrumental in helping them achieve integration.

The report offers advice on change management and getting the support and buy-in from the range of stakeholders and partners needed to implement more integrated travel programmes.

Bruno Murray, Vice President at American Express Global Business Travel, said: “With advances in technology and services, a truly integrated travel and expense management ecosystem is achievable, delivering a better user experience, and efficiencies and control to buyers and their organisations. Barriers to integration can be overcome with the right technologies and change management expertise – and I encourage all travel buyers to challenge their TMCs to deliver on this.”

Download the full report here.

About The Journey to Integrated Travel Management
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) polled 276 travel buyers around the world from 04-28 June, 2019 for The Journey to Integrated Travel Management. The study asked travel buyers about their priorities, objectives, barriers and gateways to end-to-end programme integration. The research was carried out with support from American Express Global Business Travel. For more information, click here or contact

About ACTE Global
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has a 30+ year reputation for leading the way corporate travel is conducted. As a global association comprised of executive-level members in more than 100 countries, ACTE pioneers educational and technological advances that make business travel productive, cost-effective and straightforward. ACTE advocacy and initiatives continue to support impactful changes in safety and security, privacy, duty of care and compliance along with traveller productivity that supports global commerce. Learn more at

About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and their employees prosper by making sure travellers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of 18,000 travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organize meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.

Learn more at 

Media Contact:
ACTE Global
Meghan Warren
Sloane & Company

October 17, 2019
Corporate Cards Continue to Lead Travel Programmes, Though Virtual Payments Are on the Rise

Alexandria, Va.—According to new research from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), developed in collaboration with Mastercard and the NAPCP (a global professional association serving the commercial card and payments industry), the use of corporate cards for business travel continues to expand globally due the security, efficiency and convenience that both employees and companies derive from their usage. Travel managers also report increased utilisation of virtual cards and single use accounts to help manage spend for infrequent travellers, helping manage a bigger piece of the total corporate travel budget.

The global study conducted by ACTE, Evolving Payments in Corporate Travel, found that when it comes to paying for corporate travel expenses, a majority of organisations (67 percent) continue to use corporate credit cards, with 60 percent saying they are very or extremely satisfied with them. Sixty-three percent say it is their preferred payment method. And while just 15 percent of organisations surveyed use virtual cards or single use accounts for business travel, another 28 percent plan to adopt them in the future.

Why Corporate Cards?
Traveller and travel managers’ need for simplicity underlies the continued leadership of corporate cards. For many travellers, using corporate cards avoids the need to pay for travel costs up front and eliminates onerous reimbursement processes. For companies’ travel management executives, corporate cards allow for better expense tracking and reconciliation, provide transparency into which airlines and lodging their travellers are using, and if travel policies are being followed.

“For many organisations, the adage of ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ applies when it comes to payments,” said Leigh Bochicchio, executive director, ACTE. “The corporate card has long been the gold standard for the industry, and its benefits should not be discounted. The beauty of a corporate card programme is it can be customised based on the needs of the organisation and its culture.”  

Personal Cards Are Not Well Suited for Business Travel
A key payment challenge organisations contend with is employees’ use of personal credit cards. Forty-eight percent of respondents say personal cards are used within their organisations, likely driven by two factors: first, the organisation may not have a formal policy in place prohibiting this; second, travellers are motivated by the appeal of earning cash back rewards, frequent traveller points or other travel benefits like airport lounge access.

However, the drawbacks for the organisation are clear. The use of personal cards offers little or no transparency into spending, inhibits travel managers’ ability to perform their duty of care responsibilities, prevents organisations from imposing reasonable restrictions on cards’ use, and can make it extremely difficult to manage reimbursement and expense reconciliation.

“When organisations’ employees use corporate T&E cards, they’re able to capture enriched data to reconcile expenses, prevent misuse and overspending, and ultimately, negotiate better rates with suppliers,” said Jeff Feuerstein, senior vice president, Global Commercial Product Management at Mastercard. “The cost of employees using their personal cards far outweighs the benefits, so it’s crucial to have clear corporate card usage requirements and to educate employees about why corporate card usage works in both the organisation’s and their favour.”  

There Is a Better Way
While there is a continued preference for corporate cards, the study showed that there are unmet needs for some travellers and travel managers, particularly in areas of controlling or limiting card usage. Managing the spend of those who do not have company-issued cards, like consultants, interview candidates, or infrequent travellers, rose to the top as well.  While not all companies feel as though corporate cards are the answer, they still require an alternative solution to personal cards.

The solution may lie in virtual cards, which offer travellers a single or multi-use account number for corporate travel purchases. These cards offer many of the benefits of corporate cards (e.g., the ability to capture spend data and avoid the use of personal cards) while also solving other challenges. For example, virtual cards allow travel managers to place limits on which merchants travellers can spend at, which categories they can spend on, when in time the funds can be spent, and on budget. Other key benefits of virtual payments include the enhanced data captured for each transaction and the absence of physical cards, which reduces the administrative burden of managing credit limits and monitoring ongoing usage of traditional cards.

“Virtual cards can be a great tool for organisations to add to their payment toolkit,” said Heather Miller, community engagement manager for the NAPCP. “Organisations have found success in using virtual cards as a solution for contract employees, interview candidates and non-frequent travellers. A virtual card offers all the benefits of the traditional card programme, such as data visibility and controls, while creating a better experience for the traveller who does not need to pay out-of-pocket for company expenses. The industry anticipates a growth in the adoption of virtual cards as more organisations start to realise the benefits.” 

The Path Forward
There are clear benefits in utilising each of these company-issued card payment options, yet travel managers have numerous considerations when evaluating their options. The size of their organisation, centralized or de-centralized nature of travel programme management, volume of employee travel, budget limitations, how the organisation utilises data, and tools at their disposal for managing and analysing travel spend all have a strong influence on the types of payments that will work best in any organisation.

Added Bochicchio, “Adopting a new payment method should be approached the same way as any change to a corporate travel programme: Identify what your organisation needs and what’s acceptable within your culture and work closely with your card provider to design and implement the right programme within your company. There is no one ‘right’ way to do things in this industry other than to be nimble and open to new options and technology.”

About Evolving Payments in Corporate Travel
To produce this report, ACTE Global surveyed 290 business travellers and corporate travel managers around the world via a combination of open-ended and multiple-choice questions. The survey was conducted in June 2019. To read the full study, click here.

About ACTE Global
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has a 30+ year reputation for leading the way corporate travel is conducted. As a global association comprised of executive-level members in more than 100 countries, ACTE pioneers educational and technological advances that make business travel productive, cost-effective and straightforward. ACTE advocacy and initiatives continue to support impactful changes in safety and security, privacy, duty of care and compliance along with traveller productivity that supports global commerce. Learn more at

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About the NAPCP
The NAPCP ( is a membership-based professional association committed to advancing Commercial Card and Payment professionals and industry practices worldwide. Serving a community of almost 20,000, the NAPCP is a respected voice in the industry and an impartial resource for members at all experience levels in the public and private sectors. For two decades, the NAPCP has provided unmatched opportunities for continuing education and peer networking through its conferences, regional forums, webinars, website, virtual demonstrations, newsletters and regular communication. The association sponsors research and publishes timely and relevant white papers, survey results and other documents. The NAPCP also offers the Certified Purchasing Card Professional credential (CPCP).

Media Contacts:

ACTE Global
Meghan Warren
Sloane & Company

Alyssa Rosenblatt

Amy Allen
952-546-1880 x5

October 17, 2019
SITE Classic Brings 300 Incentive Travel Professionals to The Bahamas and Raises Over $250,000 for Research and Education

The 13th annual SITE Classic concluded today at Grand Hyatt, Baha Mar with 300 incentive travel professionals in no doubt as to the incentive appeal of The Bahamas despite the recent ravages of Hurricane Dorian. 

For three days attendees connected and built their professional networks, learned career enhancing new skills and discovered the pulse and beating heart of a truly stunning host destination while raising over $250,000 for SITE Foundation projects on research, education and advocacy. 

“We’ve had Baha Mar on our radar for some time now”, said John Iannini, CIS, CITP, President of the SITE Foundation, “so anticipation amongst our attendee community was almost at fever pitch. Hurricane Dorian did cause problems but once it passed, and the health and safety of our attendees was secure, we were determined to be part of the solution by bringing SITE Classic here and channelling the good news that The Bahamas is very much open for business”. 

“Hurricane Dorian was a prime example of how a threat can be turned into an opportunity. We leave The Bahamas personally and deeply enriched as a result of being able to play a small part in the Hurricane Relief program. Our DMC partner in The Bahamas, Cacique International used their unparalleled local connections to create an extensive, meaningful CSR activity where our attendees could get involved and make a difference. We feel privileged to have had this opportunity”, said Anne DiGregory, CITP, Vice President Fundraising and Events. 

Besides a full afternoon of activities in support of hurricane relief on day three of the event, on day two attendees choose from eight options that included an opportunity to take the Certified Incentive Travel Professional (CITP) designation. Highly popular, too, were destination-specific experiences particularly “flexing with the flock”, an outdoor yoga class in the presence of the graceful pink flamingos. 

From a fundraising perspective SITE Classic was a resounding success with silent and live auctions raising a combined $250,000 + for SITE Foundation. “SITE Classic is our flagship fundraising event. Its success is down to our incredible sponsors who donate amazing bucket-list travel packages and our patrons and supporters who dig deep to buy them! It’s fitting too that we raise money in and through extraordinary travel experiences – that is, of course, the essence of incentive travel”, said Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP, CEO of SITE & SITE Foundation. 

SITE Classic 2020 will take place in Seattle from 27 to 30 September 2020. 

About Incentive Travel & SITE
Incentive Travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the Business Events industry with the highest per capita spend and the widest supply chain. Accounting for about 7% of all Business Events activities, the Events Industry Council’s Global Economic Impact study (2018) estimates the incentive travel industry to be worth around $75 billion globally. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only Business Events association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. Founded in 1973, we are a professional association of 2,500 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain. We bring value to our members at both global and local chapter level by networking, on-line resources, education, certification and advocacy. SITE Foundation was established by SITE to support research, education and advocacy projects on behalf of the incentive travel industry. Monies raised by the SITE Foundation help us make the business case for incentive travel and highlight the transformational potential of travel experiences on individuals, enterprises and communities. The SITE Foundation is a registered charity holding a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization status.