Multinational events and publishing company Informa is banking on its acquisition of CAPA â€“ Centre for Aviation in January to mount an aggressive campaign to grab a slice of the trillion-dollar corporate travel buying market, starting in Asia.
Former ACTE regional director, Asia, Benson Tang, who joined UBM as director-corporate travel in April, has been appointed executive director to helm an exclusive and â€śuniqueâ€ť corporate travel buyers-only club named Corporate Travel Community (CTC).
CTC leverages Informaâ€™s international event, intelligence, scholarly research brands, the acquisition of UBM last year and CAPAâ€™s established events.
Membership is free, so are attending events and access to scholarly research in a wide range of industries.
Tang said Informa is committed to offering the buyer benefits to grow CTC over the next two years.
He commented the CTC mission is to create a large and vibrant travel buyer community, help travel managers progress in their day-to-day work, fine-tune their travel programmes and take them to a new level in their professional careers. He claimed no such community exists or has the resources of CTC.
With CAPAâ€™s BlueSwanDaily.com, an aviation-centric bulletin also covering corporate travel news, and its established knowledge and training events, Tang is optimistic CTC can equal 31-year-old ACTEâ€™s global membership of around 2,000 members within a few months of its launch.
CTC was launched yesterday in Seoul to coincide with the CAPA Airline CEOs event and CTC Membersâ€™ Air RFP Training & Accreditation Seminar today.
â€śCTC will provide members with the best information, educational materials, data and opportunities to network,â€ť he added.
Pointing out that non-profit industry associations have to be â€śimpartialâ€ť as they depend on â€śsponsorshipâ€ť support, Tang said CTC would not be â€śburdenedâ€ť and will afford members a platform for â€śuseful, open and frank discussionâ€ť.
As a commercial entity however, CTC welcomes launch partners and sponsors if they can create opportunities for members, he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Tang has enlisted a dozen leading Asian corporate travel buyers to be CTCâ€™s inaugural council members, with Michael Molloy, category leader – travel and expense management, procurement, as its chairman.
Tang commented: â€śI want to be very aggressive, focus on Asia for now followed by Australasia, Europe and the US last as it is the stronghold of ACTE and GBTA. The corporate travel industry is worth US$1.3 trillion and I believe the market is big enough to support two or three associations.”
Corporate travel buyers polled in Asia welcomed the launch of CTC, adding that it can complement ACTE and GBTA.
One Shanghai-based corporate travel buyer, working for a European company, said GBTAâ€™s events there were important to him. He also credited GBTA for its high-profile US conferences and its lobbying power with the US government.