New ACTE council chair retains focus on membership growth

AMARNATH Lal Das, general manager-India Travel, Accenture, has taken over from Peter Koh, global travel manager, global sourcing, Standard Chartered Bank, as the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) Asia Regional Council chair and is heading a new 10-member council.

While the majority of the council members are corporate travel managers and suppliers based in Singapore, Greely Koch, ACTE executive director, said representatives from more countries in the region such as India, China and Japan were volunteering this year.

Das, who served as a council member for the past two years, said his task was to continue to expand membership in tandem with ACTE’s growth in Asia. According to Koch, Asian membership surged 144 per cent in early-January.

Koh said the Asia Regional Council had stepped up efforts to reach out to growing corporate travel markets such as China and India and emerging ones such as Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

Das added: “Corporate travel management is still a relatively new concept in Asia. Best-practice sharing and imparting technical know-how at ACTE’s (more than 40 annual) events will help members keep up with an environment that is extremely fast-changing, acquire new skill sets, and tap the opportunities with technology advancement in planning the future of travel operation.”

Meanwhile, ACTE is moving its annual conference from Singapore to Hong Kong after 12 years. Despite the move, Benson Tang, ACTE Asia regional director, told TTGmice e-Weekly that Singapore continues to be an important hub for the association.

ACTE will maintain a strong presence in Singapore by participating in the UATP Airlines Distribution Event next week, continue with the one-day ACTE Singapore Executive Forum on April 1 at The Westin Singapore, and host an ACTE cocktail in the fourth quarter, among other activities.

In moving the annual conference to Hong Kong, ACTE has rebranded the former ACTE Asia-Pacific Education Conference to the ACTE Asia Corporate Travel Conference to more accurately reflect the programme content. It will be held on August 6 and 7.

Themed the Future of Corporate Travel in Asia, Tang said the Hong Kong conference was expected to attract more corporate travel managers based in China.

Koh said Hong Kong provided an affordable option to attract attendees from China and added that numbers from Singapore had fallen. The conference usually attracts about 600 participants.

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