Business travel name-change signifies globalisation of industry and tech issuesNewsBy Timothy O'Neil-Dunne | August 10, 2010Share This article was originally published on NBTA at its annual convention in Houston this week announced that it is changing its name from the US-focused National Business Travel Association to the more apt GBTA – Global Business Travel Association.This marks a major shift in the organization’s focus that has been coming during the past year. The board hired Mike McCormick an industry veteran in 2008 to shake up the secretariat.And this he has done. In the announcement as NBTA executive director and COO, McCormick says: “Today, NBTA encompasses six regional operations on four continents. We have customers in more than 30 countries who serve millions of business travelers worldwide. In 2011, our name will officially change as we become the Global Business Travel Association, or GBTA.”Share this quote The National Passenger Traffic Association (NPTA) was founded in New York City in 1968. A somewhat unlikely name but back then travel was often called Traffic.It changed its name in 1989 to the more appropriate NBTA. During this time it expanded its membership to Canada and regions around the world. It formed loose associations with various national organizations.Speaking to delegates in Houston, president and chief executive, Craig Banikowski, says the foundation of NBTA Europe earlier this year meant the organization now had a truly global footprint, rendering the word National redundant.Earlier this year with some local opposition, the organization formed NBTA-Europe. Its inaugural conference will be in Lisbon this September.An exact date for the name change has yet to be set, but it will be formally in place before next year's convention in Denver, Colorado. The US-based NBTA already has regional groups in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.Banikowski says: "Our industry continues to evolve, and our jobs are evolving as well. Just as we have all changed our thinking about our jobs in recent years, our association must shift its thinking.”This week’s conference will focus on some of the pressing issues in corporate travel. There likely will be some debate over the NBTA’s support for transparency in ancillary pricing via the GDSs -- a move opposed by some airlines and distributors.