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ACTE presents international educational certification and innovation programmes

ACTE presents international educational certification and innovation programmes

International business travel organisation ACTE (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) met in Berlin at the beginning of this week to present a series of new projects which will further enhance today’s global travel management. During the Global Education Conference Chris Crowley, President of ACTE, and Ron DiLeo, Executive Director, discussed ideas for new projects which will aid the promotion of innovation, education, certification and industry statistics.

More than 800 participants from 37 countries representing all sectors of the business travel industry congregated at the Intercontinental Hotel to attend ACTE’s 20th annual European conference this week.

Under its new programme 3 under 33 ACTE will honour innovative ideas, approaches and products for travel management.

“Classic procurement is taken for granted today and therefore not in the foreground“, says Ron DiLeo. “Today, social media, marketing, communications and behavioural management are the key issues. We will look for the three best forward thinkers under the age of 33 who have ideas for the next-generation travel management.”

“3 under 33” will start in 2010 and the first three winners, who may not necessarily be from the business travel industry, will be announced in New York during the Global Education Conference in April 2011.  A further three winners will be named in Singapore during the Asia-Pacific Education Conference in August 2011 as well as in Paris at the Global Education Conference in October 2011, where ACTE will also name global winners.


ACTE will also be launching the Angel Investor project from the second quarter of 2011, which links good business ideas to potential investors, in the business travel industry and beyond. Developers can present their ideas via an online platform and initiate contact with interested organisations looking to invest in fresh projects.

From autumn 2011 onwards, ACTE will start its own global education programme called Around the World in 80 Hours. In collaboration with renowned universities and business schools within 18 markets worldwide, ACTE plans to offer intensive, hands-on educational units of 80 hours each, combined with a two/three day programme for visiting places of interest.  A degree will be issued with cooperation from the university or school.

The educational programme, which will be offered every spring and autumn, is aimed at both travel and sales managers, who want to broaden their skills, as well as students.

“We are hopeful that in addition to helping people already in our industry to broaden their horizons, we will also be taking great strides towards attracting new talent to the travel business”, says Ron DiLeo.

Around the World in 80 Hours will be carried out in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, the Nordics, Russia, South Africa, India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and the United States. The details will be published on

A new programme named Consultants’ Corner has also been introduced and offers young managers certification and support for starting a career as a consultant. This programme, starting in the first quarter of 2011, offers the certification itself as well as a basic set of skills such as business card and presentation design along with a link via the ACTE website where candidates can present themselves.

ACTE aims at job starters and organisations looking for specialised consultants.

“While larger firms don’t typically get involved directly in travel management projects, it’s not uncommon for their work to affect their clients’ travel programmes,” says DiLeo. “With the Consultants’ Corner, these firms now have a place to shop for sub-contractors.”

With the ACTE Index ACTE will provide monthly statistics on the global business travel market and global economy to the industry. “We intend to monitor our members, and their confidence, booking trends and general travel expenditure closely”, says ACTE President Chris Crowley. “As businesses leaders adjust their travel requirements and with an eye to the changing economic landscape, ACTE will start to publish statistics in a regular monthly index.”

The ACTE Index combines exclusive data on ACTE members’ travel to regional economic indicators. With business travel widely acknowledged as a key performance indicator of the global economy, this enables ACTE to provide concrete forecasts. The index will be based on a survey of an exclusive collection of ACTE members and will be published via an ACTE Index newsletter as well as via the ACTE website.  This will happen for the first time in the autumn of 2010.

Earlier this week ACTE published the results of the “2011 Travel Spend Survey” in Berlin. The vast majority of respondents - 64% from Europe and 70% from the US – anticipate greater travel spend in 2011, with most attributing this to increased travel frequency and not just higher costs.  This clearly shows that that the global economic outlook for 2011 could be more optimistic than experts originally thought.

The ACTE Global Education Conference in Berlin was the 20th European annual conference of the association. Nearly half of the attending organisations were from the buyers’ side, representing travel budgets of roughly 5 billion euros.

Key issues of the conference were concrete safety concerns, such as the risks of mobile communication, actual economic developments and the future of passenger rights regulation by the EU.  There was also a large number of sessions on practical travel management issues.

Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement (VDR) received the “2010 ACTE Advancing the Industry Award” from Chris Crowley and Ron DiLeo, ACTE President and ACTE Executive Director respectively.  Richard Crum, the CEO of Airplus picked up the “Presidents award for service to ACTE” and Andy Menkes was honoured with a founder’s award.