The Institute of Travel Management (ITM) is enhancing its ‘ITM Community’ programme of initiatives to support buyers and suppliers whose professional lives have been impacted by the effects of Covid-19 on the business travel industry.
ITM has extended its offer of complimentary ‘Business’ level membership until the end of September to new or existing members who are currently on furlough or displaced. This gives unlimited access to all ITM resources, educational opportunities and virtual events including attendance at the 2021 annual ITM Conference ‘Revive’.
A new six-month Business membership plan has also been introduced for suppliers and buyers who are unable to commit to a full year’s membership.
The ITM Job Board has been enhanced to provide additional support to those who are looking for employment or a change of direction. All fees relating to the ITM Job Board have been removed to facilitate diversification, help start-ups and provide job seekers with maximum choice.
ITM’s programme of virtual webinars, educational events and on-demand resources has also intensified to support members as they prepare for the return of business travel in the second half of the year. Forthcoming sessions will focus on considerations for travel to and within the EU associated with A1 certificates and Brexit, ongoing clarification around PSD2, sustainability and building traveller confidence post Covid.
In addition, ITM’s Mentoring Programme for 2021 has made positive progress in the first quarter of the year. In a recent survey 100 per cent of mentees felt that they were well-matched with their respective mentor in regards to their skillset and experience. This was echoed by the 75 per cent that noted the quality of their mentor as the best part of the programme. Between January and March, 76 per cent of mentees have already met their mentor twice or more. Leadership, personal development, knowledge and insight, as well as networking emerged as the key focus areas for all mentees.
All business travel professionals are also invited to attend the ITM Revive conference social evening, ‘ITM’s Greatest Show’. The event reinforces ITM’s core value of helping the business travel community to connect with friends, colleagues and peers and enjoy a well-deserved free ‘night out’ This unique evening of virtual entertainment provided by HeadBox, takes place on the 27th April at 7pm (BST) and includes comedy acts, dance troupes, and circus performers. Attendees will be able to ‘work the room’ and meet with members of the audience via chat, group video call or private message.
Scott Davies, ITM’s Chief Executive Officer commented: “Whilst the roadmap out of lockdown and the Covid vaccination programme has given our industry a light at the end of the tunnel, the recovery is still going to take several months. It’s unlikely that there will be significant resumption of business travel until the second half of 2021. We are therefore continuing to embrace ITM Community initiatives that support buyers and suppliers in the meantime.
“ITM Community is designed not only to support those in the industry who have been furloughed or displaced; it also embraces resources that underpin ITM’s dedication to providing education and guidance to members who have retained their jobs, but are now facing various challenges as they prepare for travel to resume,” said Davies.