GBTA announces “Travel Value Chain” panel

GBTA announces “Travel Value Chain” panel

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – today revealed the new ‘Travel Value Chain’ panel featuring CEOs of major travel suppliers, including Dara Khosrowshahi, president and CEO of Expedia, Inc.; Thorsten Kirschke, COO of Carlson Hotels and president of Carlson Hotels, Americas; and Gordon Wilson, president and CEO of Travelport GDS; and will be moderated by Trip Davis, co-founder and Chairman, TRX and president of the Darden School Foundation at the University of Virginia. The panel, made possible by BMO Financial Group, will take place Tuesday, August 23, 8:30am – 9:45am at the 2011 GBTA Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 21 – 24, 2011.

The panel will examine the future of the business travel industry amidst a slow economic recovery, global political turmoil and natural disasters.  Panelists will discuss prospects for the business travel industry for the coming years and how business models will react and shift to the possible changes in the industry. 

“The GBTA Convention line-up continues to get better and better as we add more panels and speakers with incredible insight and knowledge of issues affecting our industry. This panel’s focus on the future of business travel, including the future for new distribution models, will be an important opportunity for attendees to hear from those at the heart of the distribution discussion and explore ideas for development and enhancement to the industry on this and all fronts,” said Michael W. McCormick, executive director and COO, GBTA.

Dara Khosrowshahi became CEO of Expedia, Inc., when it spun off from IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC) in August 2005. Prior to that, Khosrowshahi was acting CEO of the travel portfolio within IAC from December 2004. Previously, Khosrowshahi had served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp since January 2002.In this capacity he oversaw all financial matters of IAC, served in IAC’s Office of the Chairman, and was directly involved in the expansion of IAC’s travel portfolio through various acquisitions. Previously, Khosrowshahi had served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp after being president of USA Networks Interactive. Khosrowshahi received a BA in engineering from Brown University.

Thorsten Kirschke, COO of Carlson Hotels, and president of Carlson Hotels, Americas is a hospitality veteran with 23 years of experience. Kirschke is responsible for leading the strategy, management and key functional support areas for the four brands of Carlson Hotels in the Americas including Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson℠, Park Inn® by Radisson and Park Plaza®. His top priorities include supporting Carlson’s Radisson re-launch, a $1.5 billion investment into repositioning, and elevating the Radisson brand in the Americas and ensuring the continued growth of the company’s portfolio of hotel brands throughout the region. Previously, Kirschke served as the executive vice president and COO of The Rezidor Hotel Group based in Brussels, Belgium. Kirschke earned a master’s degree in the Hospitality Industry from IMHI Essec University in Paris.


Gordon Wilson is president and CEO of Travelport Limited, one of the world’s leading providers of critical travel content aggregation, search and booking services for the global travel industry. Wilson previously served as the Company Deputy CEO as well as president and CEO of the Travelport GDS, the largest division of the company. Wilson has 20 years experience in global electronic travel distribution, in various senior positions, including CEO roles with Galileo and Cendant Travel Distribution Services. During his career Wilson has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., South Africa and Portugal. Gordon Wilson holds a Masters Degree in Law from the University of Cambridge.

Trip Davis is the co-founder and chairman of TRX, a travel technology and data services company, and the president of The Darden School Foundation, University of Virginia. TRX processes over $400 billion per year in travel volume on behalf of its clients, from over 400 sources in 50 countries. Davis was the president & CEO of TRX from 1999 through 2008. Prior to co-founding TRX, Davis was the general manager of the Travel Industry Practice Group at iXL and co-founder and CEO of Green Room Productions.

The GBTA Convention, with more than 6,000 attendees, is the largest, most comprehensive annual gathering of business travel and meetings managers, meeting planners, procurement professionals and suppliers anywhere in the world. The Business Travel Event of the YearSM features: more than 70 industry-leading education sessions organized into 20+ specialized tracks geared to specific levels of experience and a variety of disciplines; a 400+ company Exposition showcasing market choices not available at other industry gatherings; sessions featuring world-renowned speakers and industry leaders; a wide selection of professional development opportunities; and, much more. For more information on the GBTA Convention, visit