Hilton San Diego Bayfront

By James Wilkinson in San Diego

Recording artist Jewel has produced a memorable keynote speech to get the 2013 Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention in San Diego underway yesterday (Aug 5 local time).

The GBTA Convention’s opening reception was held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel on Sunday night, where almost 7,000 people gathered to socially kick-off the event.

But it was the lunchtime keynote by Jewel that got the business of the trade show underway in spectacular fashion. The platinum recording artist spoke about the years before and during her success, before breaking into song on three occasions, earning a standing ovation.

She is one of three keynote speakers, with former first ladies Lara W Bush and Hillary Clinton lined-up for the next two days respectively.

Saying she didn’t want to be outdone by former Senator Clinton on Wednesday, Jewel finished off her speech by yodeling, something she says she was teased about as a child for.

Jewel 2

Earlier in the day, airline executives were in the spotlight on stage, including new Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger, who spoke about the positives in the business travel market and why London Heathrow needs a third runway.

“I remain an optimist and believe the third runway at Heathrow is still on the table,” he said. “We have a perfectly good airport that can be expanded.”

The GBTA Convention continues tomorrow, with the keynote speech from Bush, along with a highly-anticipated ‘luminaries of travel’ CEO session that includes Travel Leaders Group’s Founder and Chairman Michael Batt, Best Western’s President and CEO David Kong and Concur’s CEO and Chairman, Steve Singh.


HM flew to San Diego with Qantas. The airline flies daily to Los Angeles from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney operating Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft, connecting to American Airlines flights to San Diego. On Qantas, expect top seats, entertainment, food, wine and service across every cabin. For bookings, visit www.qantas.com

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management