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NBTA with Asia-Pacific subsidiary

The Australasian Business Travel Association (ABTA) officially will become the Asia Pacific subsidiary of the U.S.-based National Business Travel Association (NBTA) beginning April 2, 2007, after…

The Australasian Business Travel Association (ABTA) officially will become the Asia Pacific subsidiary of the U.S.-based National Business Travel Association (NBTA) beginning April 2, 2007, after ABTA members overwhelming supported a merger at an Extraordinary General Meeting in Sydney.

ABTA CEO, Glenn Buckingham, said the formation of NBTA-Asia Pacific was an exciting initiative that would expand the services and reach of both organizations in the Asia Pacific region, and enhance professional development and networking opportunities for members.

“With many of our member organizations being regionally or globally focused, and facing increasing competitive challenges, the ABTA Board investigated options to build a stronger regional presence and generate the additional income such progressive initiatives require,” Buckingham said.

“We decided – and our members agreed – that an alliance with the world’s largest business travel association was by far the most advantageous arrangement to secure our longevity, build our influence and expand our member services far into the future.”

NBTA President and CEO, Suzanne Fletcher, said her association is delighted with the merger and the opportunities for expansion that it brings.

“The addition of NBTA-Asia Pacific to the NBTA structure will make NBTA a stronger organization globally and enable us to better serve all NBTA members,” Fletcher said. “We see the Asia Pacific region as critically important to our future expansion into China and India, particularly in assisting our members to tap into the significant business opportunities available in these growth markets. ABTA’s solid foundations, its impressive membership base and its aspirations for the future were all an excellent fit for what we were seeking in a regional partner.”

Fletcher said NBTA-Asia Pacific would maintain its local identity and a local board, while tapping into the global networking and resources of NBTA, a model utilized successfully with NBTA-Canada.

“NBTA-Asia Pacific’s agenda will be driven by NBTA-Asia Pacific members,” she said. “The larger NBTA organization will lend support in terms of infrastructure and expertise to help make the organization more successful, while also broadening the opportunities for professional education and networking around the world,” she said.

According to Buckingham, NBTA-Asia Pacific will continue to serve existing members with Asia Pacific-focused networking, education, resources and advocacy, while also expanding membership through the region.

“At the same time, members will gain opportunities to take advantage of benefits offered by our new parent organization at member rates, and NBTA will expand its global platform for sponsors to reach corporate and government travel buyers,” Buckingham said.

ABTA will be wound up as a solvent entity and begin operating as NBTA-Asia Pacific from April 2, 2007, and a new NBTA-Asia Pacific Board will be put in place, reporting to the NBTA Board.

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