The momentum is building for the Business Travel Ambassadors campaign, which launched last week to help attract new talent into business travel and promote the sector as a career choice.
Independent travel agent groups – the Advantage Travel Partnership and the Focus Travel Partnership – are both backing the campaign, which is being spearheaded by The Business Travel Magazine and is already supported by the BTA, ITM and GBTA.
Both Advantage and Focus have put forward members of their own teams to become Business Travel Ambassadors to share their stories in order to raise the profile of business travel and encourage potential candidates to pursue a career in the sector.
The groups will also share information about the campaign with their TMC members and industry partners to encourage them to participate.
Guy Snelgar, Advantage Global Business Travel Director, said he was keen to support the campaign at a time when attracting young talent into the business travel industry is more critical than ever.
“A new demographic of business traveller is emerging who will need a new generation of travel management professionals to support them and while travel and tourism remains an exciting choice for many young people starting their careers, business travel is far too rarely described, discussed or considered,” he said.
“As someone who ‘fell’ into business travel by accident, my own career has ranged across sales and account management, technology, logistics and operations and consultancy; working for suppliers, TMCs and corporations; large global organisations and start-ups. I have experienced just how diverse and dynamic the industry can be, and how much fun, but also how it still depends so heavily on people and relationships and so is somewhere you can really build a career.
“I shall be keen to promote the Ambassadors campaign and its initiatives across the Advantage communication channels, social media and our in-person events. I would also like to share experiences and successes from our members, such as apprenticeship schemes and local college relationships, back into the campaign.”
Focus CEO, Abby Penston, added: “Getting new talent into our industry is vital and is needed right across the business travel sector. We need to attract forward-thinking, passionate individuals who want to take this sector into the future.
“Let’s shout about what an amazing career path this is for young people and those not currently in the sector. We look forward to supporting The Business Travel Magazine on its Business Travel Ambassadors journey.”
Dani Ives, Partnership Project Manager, and Gillian Keir, Online Support and Training Manager, will represent Focus as Business Travel Ambassadors and will be hoping to encourage members to also support the initiative.
The campaign was announced last week at the Business Travel People Awards, where the three joint winners of the ‘Rising Star’ award – Georgia Suttie, Venue Find Operations Manager at Agiito, Sinead Ryan, Head of Account Management UK ALTOUR, and Laura Garton, Sales and Marketing Executive at Synergy – were invited to become the first official Business Travel Ambassadors.
Garton said: “The business travel industry is resilient, it’s progressive and its full of opportunities for anyone looking to enrich or advance their career. That’s why I love being part of this industry.
“I’m honoured to be one of the first Ambassadors because it’s an opportunity to use my voice to attract talent to not only enjoy the same remarkable experiences I have had since joining the industry, but to continue collaborating to push the boundaries of our industry today and into the future. Our industry is special because of its people, and I look forward to playing a part in the future of our industry and its people.”
Ryan said: “I am very fortunate to work for an organisation that has nurtured my talent and continued to support me in my professional development. For anyone looking to progress within the travel industry, my advice is to take any opportunities that are presented to you and work hard; it always pays off!”
ALTOUR Managing Director Maria Baty added: “Sinead exemplifies all the qualities of a rising star. Through hard work, dedication and her own flair, she has risen through the ranks from travel and tourism graduate to become Head of Account Management in a short space of time. I look forward to seeing Sinead’s journey to go on to be an inspiring leader in our industry.”
Many others in the sector have also put themselves forward as Business Travel Ambassadors and more details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Individuals who would like to become Ambassadors, or companies and organisations who would like to support the campaign, should contact Bev Fearis at firstname.lastname@example.org.