ACTE files for bankruptcy amid Covid-19

Following the cancellation its 2019 Global Summit in Macau, coronavirus proves too much to bear for the 32-year-old association

ACTE ceases operations after 32 years, and will look to liquidate assets.
ACTE ceases operations after 32 years, and will look to liquidate assets. Photo Credit: StockSeller_ukr/Getty Images

GLOBAL — The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has ceased operations and will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a notice on the association’s website. As such, ACTE will liquidate its assets and disband.

In the statement, ACTE cited not only the Covid-19 pandemic but also the cancellation of the 2019 ACTE Global Summit in Macau due to the protests that roiled Hong Kong.

“The dual impacts of the cancellation of the Asia conference due to the security situation in Hong Kong and the Covid-19 pandemic cancellations have been blows that ACTE, as a small, non-profit association, has not been able to withstand,” according to the ACTE statement.

Earlier this year, ACTE cancelled its 2020 Global Summit, which was due to take place in New York in April.

The vast majority of ACTE’s revenue was generated through conference fees. In 2018, for example, the most recent data available, conference fees comprised nearly US$5.1 million of the association’s total annual US$5.5 million in revenue, with membership fees the bulk of the remainder, according to a December 2019 ACTE filing with the Internal Revenue Service.

ACTE indicated that it had sought to “find a home for the ACTE community within a larger organisation,” but the organisation was unable to do so.

“Our discussions have been broad and deep with strong indication that we would be successful, but recent Covid-19 spikes have made investors and partners justifiably pessimistic around the viability of event-based organisations for some time to come,” according to the statement. “At this stage, the fiscally, and morally, responsible next step for us to do, is to cease operations and defer to a trustee to determine the distribution of payments to creditors.”

ACTE also said it had “worked tirelessly to reduce costs,” and in March announced a suspension of activities through May.

“For our members and sponsors, we want to say how deeply disappointed we are that we have not been able to continue our operations” according to the statement. “When we opened ACTEConnect for the whole industry, we were inspired to see the resiliency of our community and the determination to rebuild. We regret we have not been able to find a lifeline to allow ACTE to continue to play a role in your recovery.”

ACTE was founded in 1988. It claimed more than 2,000 members at the time it ceased operations.

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