Global Passenger Network (GPN), established in July of 2006, is the first international passenger transportation organization of premium national motor coach networks or private companies which enjoy national recognition. GPN members meet twice a year in different cities around the world to discuss the direction and goals of the organization, initiate and monitor programs that benefit all members, coordinate and improve cooperation between members, plan marketing and technology interventions that ensure GPN’s success, and confront regional issues and regulations which influence the motor coach industry.
This time, Blaguss hosted the 22nd Global Passenger Network Bi-Annual General Meeting that took place in Vienna from 13th to 16th March.
In this occasion, we had the honour to count with the visit of Mr André Schwämmlein, Flixbus’ CEO at our welcome cocktail to open officially the meeting in Vienna and strengthen the existing international collaboration with most of our GPN members in their local countries.
Steve Klika, honorary Chairman of GPN welcomed several new member nations: Bulgaria (Kaleia), a new member in Norway (Unibuss Tur) and Mexico (Ttur). The union of Ttur in Mexico is a milestone in GPN and means the door-opening to the expansion of GPN to South America along 2017. With the union of Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions from India last October, GPN is expanding its global presence to other continents, further than Europe and North America and developing into a key partner for both the tourism industry, events and corporate group travels as well as for manufacturers and suppliers to the motor coach sector.
GPN enjoy at the present of 36 countries members and is also currently evaluating potential member companies in South Africa, Japan, France and Brazil, three of these countries have already announced their attendance to our next General Meeting. This sums up to, that by the end of the year, GPN will have grown to 40 member countries in Europe, America and Asia.
One of the issues discussed during the meeting was the GPN partnership program. The partnership support within GPN is extremely valuable for its members. In recent years, the interest by industry related service, supply, parts and equipment providers has increased the network’s alliance partnership. Therefore, the number of GPN partners has increased from the original 2 in 2012 to well over 24 today. In this meeting, we had the honour to introduce a new Strategic Partners, DKV/OK, a new Alliance Partner, Busradar24 and a new affiliate, First Travel Solutions. An entire session during the meeting was dedicated on how to balance today and in the future years this increase of GPN partners within the organization and the potential review of our Alliance Partner Policy.
Among other issues discussed during the meeting was the implementation of a GPN Booking Online Platform on the website. Since its founding, one of the main objectives of GPN is to provide clients with easy and user-friendly ways to charter a bus anywhere in the world through a single website. Technology is one of the principal focus points of the organization and therefore one of the main innovative projects discussed in Vienna was a GPN booking online platform. A GPN platform that provides immediate world-wide quotations and will be developed in 2017.
GPN was also happy and proud to announce a new strong board member, Bronwyn Wilson, president of the influential North American motor coach organisation IMG. Her skills in running a similar type of organization to GPN will be highly appreciated and her contribution will be very positive in our growth.
Finally, in this occasion, Global Passenger Network must specially thank its Strategic Partner, Evobus and its GPN Austrian member, Blaguss for sponsoring the dinners during the meeting, one of them at the signature panoramic restaurant Donauturm, situated at 826 feet above the ground and the other, at the restaurant Motto am Fluss.
During the next months, GPN will deal with the positive challenges of its growth. The board of directors lead by its Chairman, Luis Pedrero (Cartour’s CEO), will move forward with all the new projects that came out during the successful meeting in Vienna and will start the preparation of its next General Meeting that will take place in Greece in October 2017 hosted by Amphitrion Holidays in a cruise.