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Global Passenger Network Bi-Annual General Meeting 13-15 March 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

General Meeting Argentina GPN

Global Passenger Network (GPN) held its 2023 Spring General Meeting on 13-15 March in Buenos Aires, Argentina – the city that never sleeps. It was our first General Meeting held in a LATAM country as part our global strategy.

The 34th General Meeting was successfully hosted by GPN Argentina – SGM Solutions | Patagonia Transfers, whose team organized a meeting perfectly planned to the very last detail creating unique, memorable experiences and moments for all the participants that were GPN Members and Partners.

On the first evening, the opening ceremony of the Meeting and dinner took place at the roof garden of Hotel Madero during which various tour operators, MICE operators and travel agents with a focus on outbound travel from Argentina were invited so as to meet with the GPN members and discuss potential co-operation. The welcome cocktail was followed by a fantastic dinner at a local restaurant with typical Argentinian cuisine sponsored by our host – SGM Solutions | Patagonia Transfers.

During the two following days, the participants had the opportunity to follow several presentations and educational sessions interesting for the coach industry.

On the first day of the meeting, the meeting began with a welcome from GPN Chairwoman Agnes Pastuszak. The meeting continued with the Membership Committee Chairman – Luis Pedrero presenting the strategy for the next years of the membership expansion and introducing the new members that presented their companies:

  • Egypt: Egyptian Travel Bureau represented by Shady Emad, Managing Director
  • Japan: IBS Limo represented by Shigeyu Higashida, Advisor / EVP of IBS Limousine
  • Albania: Elite Travel Group represented by Elvis Kotherja, Managing Director
  • Saudi Arabia: AB Group represented by Abdul Hadi, Director of Business Development & Thajudeen Kaja
General Meeting Argentina GPN

During this General Meeting we officially welcomed the above mentioned companies to our family and look forward to working with them in their countries. With the addition of these 4 new companies we now have a total of 45 members in our network and we are very close to achieving our goal of reaching 50 by 2026 – GPN’s 20th Anniversary !

The GPN Sales, Marketing & Technology Committee Chairman – Tomas Jelinek – was next to present the organization’s activities, plans and strategy in these fields. It was a great opportunity for all the participants to be updated and contribute to the projects of this committee. We are continuing to be very active in trade shows, rotating the ones we will be exhibiting so as to try new markets and segments. Trade shows and digital marketing are fantastic tools to enhance GPN’s awareness and generate more leads for the network.

The meeting continued with some very interesting educational sessions presented by some of GPN’s valuable partners:

  • Educational session by Volvo: The results on a survey on behavior of coach passengers and drivers, we performed recently in quite a number of countries presented by Bas Dubois, Managing Director Benelux, Volvo
  • Daimler presentation: Buses Roadmap & Events presented by Mark Westendorp Head of international Key Account Management & Global Tender
  • GPN Academy: OSD Presentation on Digital Trends, your team needs to know for 2023 presented by Catriona Walsh, OSD
  • Educational session by Volvo: Lessons learned from our electromobility journey presented by Bas Dubois, Managing Director Benelux, Volvo
The last session of the first day was a round table discussion during which participants were split into smaller groups to discuss various trending topics of our industry to share views, ideas and potential solutions to the challenges coach operators are facing around the world. The day ended with a city tour of Buenos Aires, dinner at a famous local restaurant and an Argentinian Tango Show which truly immersed all in the Argentinian culture!

The second day of the General Meeting commenced with more interesting and exciting education sessions presented by our valuable partners:

  • GPN Academy: GA4 Analytics to drive your business in the future presented by Mario Gheghici, OSD
  • Educational Session: Green Energy “Every surface is a source – go green !” (presented by Per Schmeltz, Green Energy’s CSO)
  • Educational Session by IVECO “GNC Vehicles” presented by Danilo Fetzner, IVECO’s Sales Director IVECO Bus Latam
  • “Which fuels will we use in the future?” presented by Johanna Olsson, Scania’s Product Management Analyst
  • Educational session by Busworld Foundation: Bus and coach market situation presented by Jan de Man, Busworld Foundation’s Managing Director
  • Educational session by First Travel Solutions: Managing the risks of subcontracting presented by Richard Kirk, Sales & Marketing Director, First Travel Solutions

Following the educational sessions we had another round tables discussion session – one of the favorite sessions of participants – to discuss different topics interesting for the coach industry.

The last session of the day was a presentation of GPN’s next General Meeting in Autumn 2023 which will take place 8, 9 & 10 November in Ljubljana, Slovenia hosted by GPN Slovenia – Nomago.

The meeting ended with an Asado dinner in a spectacular venue – the Metejon Farm Polo Club at Canuelas City accompanied by live Argentinian music.

Agnes Pastuszak – Chairwoman of GPN said: “It was such a great opportunity to hold a General Meeting in Buenos Aires allowing us to combine business with pleasure in a magnificent, welcoming country like Argentina. The content of our meeting was enriched with many educational sessions from our valued partners that allowed us to learn more about trends and news of our industry. Even help us better understand what lies ahead in the future for our companies. We are grateful for our partners and their input. Also we are happy to have grown our network of members and look forward to growing further always keeping in mind that our focus is high-quality transportation companies. I can’t wait for the next General Meeting and what we will accomplish by then as a network, together! I am happy that it will be held in my country and am sure that it will be another amazing meeting as we will all be sharing great experiences!”

GPN Chairwoman Argentina General Meeting