George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, spoke as the keynote speaker at the annual 2012 GBTA Convention at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. A standing room-only crowd welcomed the President, who spoke candidly about leadership, his time in office and the decision making process behind some of the most challenging moments during his presidency. The President then sat for a one-on-one interview with Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO discussing global events, the economy and his memoir, “Decision Points.” President Bush’s appearance was sponsored by Orbitz for Business.
On leadership, George W. Bush said, “When you get into the Oval Office, you better be ready to make decisions. To run a company or an organization, you need to have a vision and principals. State them clearly and honor them.” In the sit down interview with Michael W. McCormick, he talked about his first foreign trip as President and Air Force One. Bush said humorously, “Our country does Presidential travel right.”
At the ‘Luminaries of Travel’ panel, Trip Davis, co-founder and chairman , TRX, president, Darden School Foundation, University of Virginia moderated the panel of leaders comprised of major travel suppliers including Barney Harford, CEO of Orbitz Worldwide, Luis Maroto, president and CEO of Amadeus, David Cush president and CEO of Virgin America and Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, Inc. Technology’s ability to change the dynamic between customer, supplier and company were big themes as well as the increasingly globalized nature of business. “Technology is complementary to travel,” said David Cush of Virgin America, “But you still have to get on the airline, stay at the hotel and get out there to grow business.” The panel was sponsored by BMO Financial Group.