Al Baker leads lineup of experts at seminar programme

Al Baker, will deliver the keynote address at the BTS 2007

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker headlines a slew of experts at the inaugural Business Travel Show Educational Programme, which runs alongside the Business Travel Show Dubai, being held on October 29 and 30.

The programme is put together by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, a not-for-profit association providing global education to business travel leaders in 50 countries.
Visitors will have the opportunity to attend hour long seminar sessions led by industry experts, providing advice on booking and purchasing business travel more effectively. Whatever the level of your business travel strategy, you will be able to find a session most suitable to you, according to show organisers.
According to the schedule published on the show’s website, Al Baker delivers the keynote address on the first day of the show, examining future trends in the hotel sector in the Middle East. A second keynote address on future trends in the airline sector will be delivered on the second day.
Kanoo Travel’s general manager, commercial, Roland Bunge, and Annette Forbes-Marsden, director of sales and marketing for EMEA at GetThere, tackle the question of travel agency versus internet bookings, discussing how much company travel should be booked online, what pitfalls to look out for and whether traditional travel agents should be dispensed with.
Continuing the theme is Bicky Carlra of TraVision Inc, who looks at how to use the internet for travel booking and information, discussing the most useful travel information sites on the web and offering top tips for travel booking.
With private jets emerging as the hot new executive option, Mike Berry of Execujet Middle East looks at whether private jets really can save time and money. He discusses the financial aspects behind hiring or buying, fractional ownership, and the benefits and problems in flying to smaller airports.
At the other end of the spectrum are low-cost carriers and budget hotels, and Premier Inn’s Darroch Crawford looks at their impact and whether their success in Europe and the US be mirrored in the Gulf. Can these be integrated successfully into travel policies and, more importantly, will corporate travellers comply?
Meanwhile Sally Rademaker, manager sourcing at Ericsson South Africa offers tips on getting the best airfare deals by exploring consolidated fares and building partnerships with preferred suppliers. She also shares some secrets on finding cheap tickets.
The way travel agents are paid is changing and three experts get together to bash this one out. Siemens’ Iftikhar Haque sits down with Tayseer Barakat of the Barakat Travel Company and Kanoo Travel’s Roland Bunge to understand management, service and transaction fees and how they can affect bottom lines.
Other questions being tackled look at insurance for corporate travellers, safety and security issues, controlling travellers’ expenses, the need for corporate travel policies, maximising accommodation and meetings effectiveness and more.
All sessions booked before October 26 cost Dh200 ($54.5) each, and Dh300 afterwards.