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Two minutes with… Benjamin Park

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Benjamin Park is executive director of travel and sustainability at Parexel International. He is a member of the Business Travel Show Europe advisory board and a speaker at this year’s event, taking part in a session called Steering your way through air distribution’s turbulent transition

What’s the biggest challenge facing you currently as a corporate travel manager?
We are at a turning point in our industry, where the traditional mechanisms of setting up programmes are no longer effective. The ecosystem we establish will significantly influence what can be searched, booked, paid for, and serviced.

If your TMC could do one new thing to make your life as a buyer easier, what would that be?
If our travel management company could wave a magic wand, I’d wish for a complete overhaul of their technology stack. Ideally, this would be funded by a fortuitous lottery win, allowing us to afford state-of-the-art tools that enhance efficiency, user experience and data analysis, all without the usual budget constraints.

Do you think sustainable travel is possible? What’s the best way to achieve it?
Sustainable travel is not only possible but also necessary. To achieve it, we must prioritise the carbon management hierarchy. By avoiding unnecessary trips, we save 100 per cent of potential emissions. Investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is essential to reduce our carbon footprint and maintain a level playing field across regions. Although the technology exists, its high cost is a barrier. Despite scepticism from some about global warming, it appears that government regulations may be the only effective catalyst for industry-wide voluntary action.

As Business Travel Show Europe marks its 30th anniversary this
year, what would you say is the biggest innovation to positively impact
corporate travel in the three decades since the event was founded? 

The advent of the online booking tool has been transformative, revolutionising business travel in the same way e-commerce has changed retail. It has empowered travellers with choice and control, leading to increased efficiency and cost savings.

What do you think will have the next big impact?
The future of business travel will be shaped by new retailing strategies from airlines. This will change how we engage with suppliers, as sourcing and negotiations will no longer be isolated from our integrated technology platforms.

Why is Business Travel Show Europe such a key date in your schedule?
This event is a cornerstone for our industry, which thrives on community and networking. It provides a unique opportunity to connect, exchange ideas, and foster relationships that are vital for professional growth and industry advancement.

Business Travel
Show Europe
takes place at ExCeL London on 19-20 June. Travel
bookers, managers and procurement personnel can register for free attendance here.

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