Topaz News

1. American and US Airways will Unite! - How obvious is this one? I bet I predicted this last year! They love each other so much that we can all see it but they cannot. They are resisting the draw towards each other and should just tie the knot. Maybe they need E-harmony?
2. GBTA and ACTE will NOT merge - Nope. Never going to happen. Not going to have one clear voice for our industry. Let's confuse those in Washington and other national capitals all over the world about the impact that business travel has on the economy. Whatever. I'm done talking about it.
3. Bruce Springsteen and Brad Seitz Touring - More shows just means more traveling for Brad. I would like to say I am getting tired, but bring it on. I am ready!
4. Hotel Rates are going to rise - I bet that even if demand slows, rates will go up. The hotel industry is getting smarter and smarter about squeezing more and more out of travelers, so rates will increase regardless of what happens with demand. But guess what? Business travelers will get smarter and they will find away to beat those increases. Maybe tents?!
5. Questionable Car Rental Tactics will Rise - Travel Managers take note as your travelers are being sold on more expensive cars and other charges that impact your travel budgets. Sometimes they do not even know they are being "sold" on these things. You need to help them be better renters OR just let them all have the extra stuff!
6. Gas Prices will decrease - It's hard to really believe but I think this one is true. Supply will increase and demand will decrease making the price of a gallon cheaper than last year. I mean we can be hopeful can't we?
7. GBTA Local Chapters and the Mother Ship have Reunited! - Yes, it is true. This will be the year of the lovefest between all the GBTA Chapters and the GBTA mother ship! There will be some group hugs going on in San Diego at the annual convention so make sure you are there to see it. Tears will be flowing.
8. Southwest Airlines starts charging Baggage Fees - Imagine the shock in the marketplace when Southwest Airlines quietly starts to charge baggage fees. It is true; the temptation is too great. The revenue stream is too large. They cannot resist any longer!
9. Travel 2.0 gets challenged - This is the year people start to question the relevance of Travel 2.0 and if it has a place in our industry. We are talking discussions, presentations, articles, and studies all suggesting that we should just skip 2.0 and go to 3.0 which is most likely 1.0 and very valuable.
10. Airlines implement standing room only - The time has come for less seats and more standing room! For a really good price, you will be offered standing room only. The room will be lightly padded for your safety.
11. Bacon shortages worldwide create riots - Worse than any shortage our modern civilization has ever faced, bacon shortages create global mayhem. Get ready. Stock up today!
12. Natural Disasters will decrease - Phew, because there have been way too many of these. But keep on donating because if we do escape 2013 with fewer than 2012 then they may just be back in 2014. The Red Cross thanks you!
13. I turn 50 - well not really a prediction per se, but more reality based.
So in the end end it should be somewhat quiet this year in our corporate travel industry. Not that I am complaining - but I hope business travelers do travel more so they addvalue to their companies and help the global economy grow and flourish! Happy 2013 Everyone!

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