The Alexandria, Va.–based National Business Travel Association has recently taken significant steps toward going global. Since April 2, the association has had an Asia-Pacific subsidiary—NBTA-Asia Pacific—through a merger with an organization formerly known as the Australasian Business Travel Association.

NBTA views the Asia-Pacific region as "critically important to our future expansion into China and India, particularly in assisting our members to tap into the significant business opportunities available in these growth markets," said NBTA President and CEO, Suzanne Fletcher, in a statement.

Just two weeks earlier, the association's Canadian arm—the Canadian Alliance of Business Travel—unveiled a new name and logo at its annual conference in Toronto. Now calling itself the National Business Travel Association-Canada, the group pledged to keep its "Canadian perspective" while continuing to work closely with NBTA on joint concerns, such as border-crossing issues.

The new branding follows the association’s merger with NBTA in 2004, said Tanya Racz, NBTA-Canada president. "Three years ago, the dominant question was, ‘Will we continue to be a Canadian organization?’ Then the question I routinely got was, 'Why aren’t we called NBTA-Canada?’"

NBTA represents more than 2,700 corporate and government travel managers and travel service providers, including a segment of members who are also responsible for corporate meeting management. The organization made its first move toward becoming more global in 2002 when it co-founded the Paragon Partnership with four other business travel associations. The group has grown to include 11 members worldwide, including the Brazilian Business Travel Association, the French Business Travel Association, the Finnish Business Travel Association, and VDR—the Business Travel Association of Germany. The Paragon Partnership represents about 4,500 business travel buyers and suppliers, and its goal is to create a powerful central voice for the global business travel community.—Barbara Scofidio