Lay-offs ordered in tourism and meetings industry associations

Some global and regional industry associations have become victims of the Covid-19 pandemic, with lay-offs and suspension of operations being ordered.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has suspended operations through May 2020.

Cerezales: associations without the right cash positions and good reserves are at risk

An email to ACTE executive director, Leigh Bochicchio, to verify if the association is laying off its global staff, received the following automatic reply: “As a result of the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, ACTE has suspended operations through May 2020.”

Meanwhile, a source said two positions at regional association, Meetings & Events Australia have been impacted, that of the national events manager and the partnerships manager.

At press time due to the time difference, TTGmice could not verify if the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) had to let go of about one-third of its staff.

Commenting on the unfolding situation, Oscar Cerezales, global executive vice president, MCI told TTGmice that associations he knows of are not laying staff off.

Cerezales continued: “But obviously it will depend on how much time passes until the recovery, and (lay-offs) may start at some point.

“A lot of associations and all industries will go through it eventually, especially those without the right cash positions, good reserves, etc.”

Among associations TTGmice contacted, Noor Ahmad Hamid, regional director Asia Pacific, International Congress and Convention Association, said staff all over the world were continuing to work from home.

“We have systems in place and we are able to serve our members, provide training and also organised a global webinar this week,” said Noor.

It is also business as usual for the Corporate Travel Community, according to Benson Tang, executive director.

Tang commented: “We are under Informa Group and we have the financial strength to pass through this turmoil.

“We will continue to contribute and unite the global corporate travel industry together. On June 17, 2020, our Shanghai Education Gathering in Waldorf Astoria will go ahead as planned.”

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