Name: Duncan Bureau
Title: Senior vice president, Sales and Distribution
Company, city: Etihad Airways; Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
First job: Delivering papers on my bike
A LITTLE BIT MORE
What actor or actress would play you in a movie of your life?
Mike Meyers. He is a great Canadian actor with an amazing sense of humor who has a Scottish background, as I do with my mum and dad.
What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry?
I would be in either the watch or car industry; I have a passion for both. I love the workmanship involved in beautiful timepieces and cars.
What is your favorite book, movie or television show?
Nuts! by Herb Kelleher, about Southwest Airlines
What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with?
What is your favorite aspect of the job?
People, by far. I love the people in this industry; and the great thing is no matter where in the world I am, this industry is over-indexed with amazing, smart, passionate people.
What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken?
I was part of a team that launched flights into Palm Springs from Calgary. I remember clearly that all the data and math told us not to do it, but we did it anyway, and it became an amazing success.
Who is someone you admire professionally in the travel industry?
There truly are so many great people in this industry. One of the most amazing leaders I had the privilege to work with is Calin Rovinescu, CEO, Air Canada. He is an incredibly smart guy who understands this business and the impact companies have on the communities they serve. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had to work with him; I learned a lot about business and life.
AS A TRAVELER
Tell us about a travel nightmare: There is no lack of stories related to travel nightmares. That said, I love this industry and exploring the world. Whether or not I got an aisle seat or the muffin I was served was not big enough, the reality is I love to see what this world has to offer. I sometimes listen to people as they travel and think not that long ago the only way across North America was by horse and buggy and/or walking. Today we can travel from remote villages to the world’s largest cities on the other side of the globe within 24 hours. I have a hard time complaining about my ability to explore this world. So there are few travel challenges I have ever encountered that would stop me from getting on a plane and exploring Mother Earth.
What is your preferred method of travel — planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships — and why? I am and will always be a massive fan of air travel. I love the idea of going on a plane and still get excited every time — even though I have flown thousands of times.
What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? This is easy: a guy named Cedric Wester, a utility porter at the Wynn Las Vegas. I was staying at the Wynn and walking with a colleague when I literally ran into Cedric. He was busy driving a floor cleaning machine, and we were lost. We were in his way as we were standing in the middle of the hallway. I realized he was behind us, waiting patiently. I apologized, and he turned off his machine and came down to ask how he could help. He then gave us directions to where we were going. I apologized for being in his way, and he said, “Sir, if you were not in this hotel, we would not have jobs at this amazing hotel with the opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world.” This interaction resonated with me, and I refer to it often. I was so impressed by this guy, I sent a note to the CEO of Wynn to explain just how amazing a brand ambassador Cedric is and how proud he is of his job and his hotel.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.