Professional adventurer and speaker Debra Searle MVO MBE will share her extraordinary life experiences at the GBTA Conference 2014 in Berlin, 12-14 November 2014

Berlin, 2014-10-15 — /Travel PR News/ — The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry and German business travel association VDR – today announced that Debra Searle MVO MBE, a prominent business influencer, professional adventurer and World Championship medallist will be sharing her extraordinary life experiences at the GBTA Conference 2014 in Berlin, which this year incorporates VDR’s autumn symposium.

Delegates will hear how Debra’s steely determination and courage carried her solo across the Atlantic after her fellow oarsman, then husband Andrew Veal, developed an uncontrollable fear of the ocean and was forced to abandon their planned adventure. Debra, a novice rower at the time decided to continue alone and over the following three-plus months rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic battling against 30-foot waves, sharks, and force eight squalls in a 23-foot plywood boat.

“We are delighted to have Debra Searle speaking at this year’s GBTA Conference,” said Catherine McGavock, GBTA’s Regional Director for EMEA. “Debra’s inspirational message of ‘Choosing Your Attitude’ when confronting adversity is relevant to our delegates as they face the challenges of technological and behavioural changes that are disrupting the business travel industry today. Debra’s ethos proves that with a positive outlook and a focus on influencing elements within your control, people are able to achieve extraordinary things. She is the perfect speaker to help move us from a celebration of the anniversary of a moving world event like the fall of the Berlin wall to how we face the business challenges we will discuss in the following two days.”

The event brings together GBTA’s annual conference in Europe with German partner association VDR’s autumn symposium to create Europe’s foremost business travel conference, expected to attract more than 700 delegates from more than 20 countries.

Registration is open and more information including the conference programme is available on


Colleen Lerro, +1 703-236-1133,
Catherine McGavock,
+44 1494 590 958,
Julia Anna Eckert,
+49 69 69 52 29 33,      

Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR)
The VDR represents the interests of German industry and deals with the general and competitive conditions surrounding business trips and mobility. It campaigns for efficient, economical, safe, unhindered, worldwide travel possibilities for companies. The VDR with its over 530 member companies represents a total annual turnover in the business travel sector of more than EUR 10 billion.
Debra Searle MVO MBE – Biography
Debra Searle MVO MBE had achieved more by her mid 30’s than most people would dream of achieving in a lifetime: she has been awarded a first class honours degree, launched two companies, won World Championship medals for GB, presented over 40 programmes for the BBC, had two books published, become the youngest ever trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and successfully rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In 2002 HM The Queen awarded Debra an MBE for her achievements, and in 2014 she was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) for her work with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.


About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives business growth, visit