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CEO DATELINE – Association of Corporate Travel Executives shuts doors, citing pandemic losses

July 8, 2020
By Walt Williams

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives has ceased operations and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, citing financial losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Alexandria, Va.-based ACTE reported $5.6 million in revenue and 12 staff in its 2018 tax filings, the most recent available. The group suspended its operations in March because of pandemic-related travel disruptions on the industry, but in a statement on its website Tuesday, the association’s board of directors said it was shutting down for good.

“The dual impacts of the cancellation of the Asia conference due to the security situation in Hong Kong and the COVID-19 pandemic cancellations have been blows that ACTE, as a small, non-profit association has not been able to withstand,” the board said.

Board members added they had hoped to merge ACTE into a larger organization, “but recent COVID-19 spikes have made investors and partners justifiably pessimistic around the viability of event-based organizations for some time to come.”

ACTE was founded in 1988 to promote the interests of the corporate travel industry. Executive Director Leigh Bochicchio joined the association last year after more than 13 years at Mastercard.

The association relied heavily on meetings and events, which accounted for 89% of its total revenue, according to tax documents. However, the group was forced to postpone its April 26-28 New York Global Summit and its August 25-26 Singapore Global Summit because of the pandemic, which has shown little signs of abating in the U.S. and recently flared up in Singapore. The virus has also taken a heavy toll on the business travel industry itself.

“We regret we have not been able to find a lifeline to allow ACTE to continue to play a role in your recovery,” board members said.

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