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Business Travel Show Europe Innovation Faceoff: Meet the finalists


The Business
Travel Show Europe Innovation Faceoff finalists represent the most cutting-edge products, tech
and services developed by start-ups to address big challenges facing the business travel
industry.

The Innovation
Faceoff takes place online and will be streamed live to visitors attending the
in-person event at ExCeL London on 30 September-1 October 2021. Register at
businesstravelshoweurope.com to for a free pass to both.

PredictX logo 2

Zenab
Ishani, sales and marketing associate, PredictX

What do you
do?

PredictX is a Software-as-a-Service
(SaaS) company that develops, delivers and manages decision support
applications. Our mission is to empower businesses to make better strategic
decisions while automating tactical ones, all based on better and more accurate
data. Our AI technology allows our clients to predict future business costs and
trends, see the likely future impacts of their decisions today and use this to optimise
their policies and strategies.

What problem
do you solve?

Our advanced
analytics platform gives companies the power and independence to improve
sourcing and policy decisions for all aspects of employee generated spend (EGS). EGS is any spend
which is produced by the employees of a company while conducting business activities, and thus includes travel and expense
as well as meetings and events, subscriptions, home office applications and a
host of other spend areas.

We use
ground-breaking technology that enables users to improve stakeholder engagement,
manage risk and achieve – and exceed – savings goals. In addition, our
investment in R&D enables innovative applications to solve complex travel
and other EGS problems.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

For travel
specifically, we use technology like machine learning to combine data sources
including TMC, card, expense, corporate hierarchy, supplier and meetings data
and provide a 360° travel programme view. Our intuitive analytics applications
provide travel‐related data on demand at an executive summary and category
manager level while simultaneously allowing drill‐downs to supplier,
department, trip and detailed transactions.

What are
your plans for future growth?

We envisage
several areas that are key to growth. The pandemic has refocused corporations’ outlook on how
travel should be managed and created an environment where programmes need to be
reimagined and seen in the context of the holistic management of employee
mobility.

We believe that
our approach leaves us uniquely qualified to address these issues and enable
our partners in travel to emerge from the pandemic reformed but empowered.

Climate Neutral logo 2

Willem
Melis, carbon advisor, Climate Neutral Group

What do you
do?

We offer accurate
calculations for the CO2 emissions of flights, giving companies a clear insight
on their emissions
and allowing them to compensate these via climate offsetting projects directly via the travel
agent or in after‐calculation.

What problem
do you solve?

By using a
variety of data we guarantee flight-specific calculations. Rather than
averages, we offer accurate data giving the correct CO2 information to
companies.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

A traveller
sees the correct CO2 emissions when making a reservation and can decide on taking
another airline using a less polluting plane, as this information can be shown directly in the
tool. This indirectly pushes airlines to use the most modern aircraft. This accurate data
is no longer based on averages and as such a company will only have to
compensate their effective
CO2 emissions. Very often our tool calculates lower emissions thanks to the
variety of criteria taken
into account.

What are
your plans for future growth?

We want to
create impact and have as many travel agents as possible proposing this
solution to their clients. People
can continue flying if necessary but should take account of their emissions. Our
core markets are
France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

PayPense logo 2

Christopher
Hecht, co‐founder and CEO, PayPense

What do you
do?

PayPense is a
corporate credit card and expense management system in one. Employees receive a PayPense card
and an app that can be used to apply for funds in real time. This results in
budgets that can be
defined in terms of amount, occasion and duration. Payments can be made at any Mastercard
acceptance point worldwide. For each payment, a receipt is captured, digitised
and checked
according to country‐specific requirements.

What problem
do you solve?

We avoid any
cash advance payment by employees. With PayPense everything is company billed
and paid without
having a time‐consuming reimbursement process afterwards.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

For travellers
as mentioned above – there is no need to pay in advance for any company expenses. For companies
we’re offering a safe and compliant way to support employees with liquidity
when and wherever it’s
needed. Which means instead of giving them cash in advance or handing out corporate
credit cards, where the spend behaviour cannot be controlled by the firm, we’re
taking care of that.
An employee gets liquidity for a particular request and only if that demand was approved by the
line manager can money be spent. The solution today is already integrated into
Amadeus Cytric and the corporate booking portal of HRS. PayPense can be used
for any kind of payment. Travel is an important case, but the system works for
any B2B purchases.

What are your
plans for future growth?

Bring your own
bank – as we’re focused on the big corporates, we bring our intelligence into
the corporate’s card programme. Corporate doesn’t want to move away from their
existing suppliers, especially when it comes to the finance part. Therefore, we
want to offer them the ability to stay with their current supplier (like
Citibank) with our solution on top, making it even more convenient for
the corporate in the future. We also want to offer carbon offsets.

Element logo 2

Gavin Smith,
director, Element Travel Technology

What do you
do?

We make
selecting, adopting and maximising the value of tech easy. We are travel
technology specialists
with over 20 years’ real‐world experience in TMC operations and corporate
travel. Whether it is
corporate online booking systems, mid‐to‐back-office software, or chatbot
servicing, our
partnerships with leading travel tech providers give TMCs access to new,
cutting-edge technology, backed by the all‐important layer of personalised
consultancy, service and on‐going support. In an
ever‐evolving technological landscape, smaller TMCs can find it hard to support
the increasing
technological demands of their customers.

We have focused
on developing our ability around NDC to advise the SME market and connect them to the right
suppliers. We work with a carefully selected group of tech products from the
world’s leading providers, helping our TMC customers select and implement the
best choice for them.

What problem
do you solve?

Element enables
smaller TMCs to compete with their larger industry peers and to continue to
grow their
businesses in line with client demands for technologies and associated
services.

There is no one
else that we know of who can provide expense management and three online
booking tools, with more tech to come, on one contract with one service
package. Straight away our clients can offer their clients a choice – something
they cannot do now, as they can only focus on one product due to resource and
investment restrictions.

We support a
couple of clients with SAP Concur – they have a resell deal, but we do all the
support for them and their clients. This has helped them win business off other
TMCs due to our experience.

The primary
suppliers have demand for their products from smaller TMCs and they cannot
fulfil this requirement.
This has led to dissatisfaction from travel managers, travellers and their
businesses in general, as
they cannot get the tech they want from the service provider of their choice.

Grapevine logo

Jack Dow, founder
and CEO, Grapevine

What do you
do?

Grapevine is an
AI engine designed specifically to improve how corporate TMCs engage with
travellers and drive revenue. Our AI engine Marvin integrates with TMC data
sources, identifies booking opportunities and then retargets travellers with ‘right
time, right channel’ personalised and bookable recommendations, providing total
trip value to the traveller and increased booking commissions for the TMC.

What problem
do you solve?

TMCs currently
leak more than 70 per cent of non‐air and rail bookings to external sources.
Not only does this impact TMC revenues, but it impacts corporates’ travel
policy and duty of care obligations.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

Travellers get
a great end‐to‐end booking experience and a trusted source of personalised recommendations.
Corporates ensure that their employees book in‐policy, as well as having confidence to
meet their duty of care obligations.

What are
your plans for future growth?

We’re initially
focused on driving value to TMCs and their corporate clients. Once we have
established ourselves, we plan to offer additional tools to corporate travel
bookers before rolling out to other travel verticals.

hubli logo 2

Ciaran
Delaney, founder and CEO, hubli

What do you do?
Hubli is the
first enterprise platform for in‐person connections. We combine meetings,
workspaces and group stays
in one platform, allowing teams to succeed from anywhere without sacrificing sustainability,
safety, or control.

What problem
do you solve?

15 million US
employees have left their jobs since April 2021, while 67 per cent of employees
are craving in‐person connections. They want social and interpersonal time with
colleagues. Group travel for distributed teams is set to become a rapidly growing
segment in business travel. Hubli is the online booking tool powering these
connections.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

Travellers have
access to a state‐of‐the‐art booking solution with more than 185,000 spaces
around the world available on demand when they need them. Travellers can
self‐serve booking in‐policy while also easily managing invites and rooming
lists in one place.

Organisations
have the controls they need to ensure safety, sustainability and savings. Hubli
is now used by organisations
like BP that have more than 10,000 employees on the platform with the ability
to connect in‐person following central safety and security controls.

What are
your plans for future growth?

Hubli will
shortly launch a new sustainability module which will help organisations to
track savings from less team
commuting and travel while also giving them the tools they need to drive
increased carbon savings.
Travellers will be able minimise their carbon footprint by picking meeting
cities based on the
lowest carbon emissions while also booking spaces based on their sustainability policies. All
carbon savings will be also reported back to the travel management team.



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travel

UPDATE 1-European shares rise on Evergrande relief, gains in travel & leisure


(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* Evergrande’s Frankfurt listing up 24%

* Travel & leisure stocks at mid-June highs

* Traders focus on Fed meeting, dot plot (Adds comment, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Sept 22 (Reuters) – European stocks rose on Wednesday, recovering from its early-week losses after debt-laden developer China Evergrande said it would make some interest payments, while travel and leisure index jumped to a 14-week high.

Evergrande’s Frankfurt-listed shares jumped 24% after hitting multi-year lows in the previous session.

The property developer said it would make a coupon payment on its domestic bonds, offering relief to investors worried about payments default following financial troubles.

Boosting the travel & leisure index, Entain surged 6.2% to a life high after the UK gambling firm revealed a $22.4 billion takeover proposal from Boston-based DraftKings which was nearly double the bid it rejected from MGM this year.

Online betting group Flutter Entertainment gained 4.6% after it agreed to pay $200 million to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to settle a judgement reinstated last year.

The Europe-wide STOXX 600 index rose 0.5%, extending Tuesday’s bounce after its worst session in two months, with commodity-linked stocks also in the lead.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Federal Reserve is set to conclude its two-day policy meeting later in the day, with investors expecting it to clear the way for cuts to its monthly asset purchases later this year and update its inflation and growth projections.

“Fed Chair Jerome Powell will most probably be clear on the central bank’s commitment to start lowering bond purchases before year-end but short on details about the pace and the composition of tapering,” Unicredit analysts said in a note.

“An announcement like this would be in line with Powell’s presentation at the central bank symposium in Jackson Hole in late August and is unlikely to surprise investors.”

After seven straight months of gains, sentiment has soured across global equities in September on worries about China’s slowing growth, the fast-spreading Delta variant of COVID-19 and tighter monetary policies.

The STOXX 600 is down more than 2% so far this month and is set for its worst monthly performance in about a year.

Deutsche Post fell 1.3% after U.S. delivery firm FedEx Corp cut its full-year forecast after labour shortages crimped earnings and slowed packages.

German truck maker Traton slid 0.6% after it said that sales in September were particularly hit by a global shortage of chips and other car parts. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)



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Corporate Traveller launches AI-powered platform for SMEs


A new travel management platform designed for SMEs and built
on AI technology has been launched by Corporate Traveller.

The Melon platform has been developed in-house by the SME
specialist, part of the Flight Centre Travel Group. Melon uses
artificial intelligence to “remove the frustration typically associated when
searching via multiple sites, serving up a variety of choices based on learned
behaviours to align with company travel policies and programme goals, while
taking traveller preferences and loyalty affiliations into consideration”, the company
said.

Melon allows managers to control travel options by setting
personalised algorithms and individual spend levels and provides users with a breakdown
of spend, alongside dashboard analysis of important KPI metrics in real-time.

The platform also offers real-time guidance on travel
restrictions, risk alerts and employee tracking.

Andy Hegley, Corporate Traveller’s UK general manager said:
“During this period of pause, we listened to our customers to develop a next
generation digital experience that fuses rich content supported by our
trademark dedicated and personalised service.”

Hegley added: “While the government has recently taken much
need steps to simplify travel requirements for those leaving and entering the
UK, it is still difficult to keep track of the latest developments across the
world. Melon ensures our customers are informed and aware at every step of
their booking journey. And while travelling, help is always an instant away
whether via Melon’s AI mobile chat function or the expert assistance of our
agent support team.”

The platform is being rolled out to existing customers and will welcome new sign-ups in the UK from early 2022.

The Melon platform will be showcased at Business Travel
Show Europe
on 30 September and 1 October, 2021 at London’s ExCeL.



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What Is It Like to Be a Hot Air Balloon Pilot?


It was inevitable that Beth Wright-Smith would find herself up in the air. A distant relative of the Wright brothers, she was just eight years old when her engineer dad caught the ballooning bug in the 1960s. “He just happened to be driving by and he sees this guy inflating a balloon,” she says. That guy turned out to be Tracy Barnes, a pioneer and legend in the ballooning world. Wright-Smith had her own first flight at the age of 17 and got her pilot certification a few years later.

Now, with 43 years of flying under her belt, Wright-Smith is the owner of Airborne Heat, a flight and ground school for ballooning in Albuquerque. For the past 13 years she traveled around the country piloting “¢ent’r Stage,” a nine-story tall stagecoach-shaped balloon that was put to rest this year. But you can still catch her this October piloting Smokey the Bear at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air ballooning festival in the world.

Beth Wright-Smith talked to us about her career in ballooning, and what you need to know should you want to lift off yourself. As told to Vanita Salisbury.

I’m probably one of the oldest second-generation balloon pilots in the country. I’ve flown internationally in Switzerland, Mexico, and Canada, and at some point I would like to go to France. They have a big event every other year in Lorraine, near where the first balloons launched in 1783. And France is where Sophie Blanchard is from, the very first woman to fly a balloon professionally.

My first ride was actually when I was 17 in 1973 here in Albuquerque, in the first World Balloon Championships. Part of the attraction of going was the ballooning, and part of it was getting out of school for two weeks. It wasn’t the best landing. My dad fell on me, and he was 250 pounds. All I remember was that he squished me.

When I started, the business of hot air ballooning was basically a family thing. The dad was the pilot, the mom was the crew chief, the kids helped with the balloon. There were very, very few women pilots. At the time I got my pilot certificate, there were basically four ladies at balloon events. There’s getting to be more and more women, especially in the past five years. I’d say about 30 percent of those I certify are women.

Wright-Smith previously piloted the Wells Fargo stagecoach, “¢ent’r Stage” | Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images Sport

If you want to fly, you can get a private certification or a commercial certification. With a private, you can fly for fun, but if you actually want to get paid to do it, then you have to have a commercial rating and some experience. With Airborne Heat, I have what’s called a Part 141 school. There’s also Part 61 which is generally how most people get their pilot certificates. That’s how I got mine. You can do it in 10 hours for a private [certification] and for commercial you need 35 flight hours.

I also fly corporate programs, which means corporate advertising. I flew the Wells Fargo stagecoach for thirteen years; they just ended the program last year. We’d fly in festivals, if they had a bank opening or a charity thing, we’d put them up wherever they wanted us to. We traveled around the country. It was a lot of fun.

“It’s just everyday people that have decided this is their thing.”

Every single flight is different in some way. My favorite part of flying is going low over trees and rivers and lakes, because you can’t really do that in very many aircraft. One mistake I made in the beginning—and one a lot of new pilots tend to make—is when I got close to the ground I thought we were gonna break our legs or something. It’s not like an airplane. It looks like you’re coming so fast when you’re really not at all. So I’d overburn and go back up, and miss my landing spot.

As a pilot you’re constantly thinking. It’s a major mental exercise. There are so many details. You’re constantly watching what’s happening, where you are, where you can land, where you can’t land, how do you get there, what you have to do to get there. It’s like a 3-D pool game; you have to figure out the angles.

A nighttime balloon glow | Mark Newman/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The job draws an entrepreneurial personality. It takes someone with their own mind, that doesn’t want to go with the flow all the time. That creates problems every once in a while, because some of them aren’t very good at following the rules. Most of ballooning is technique and about ten percent is safety stuff. So you ask six different balloonists how to do something and you’ll get six, maybe ten different answers.

One misconception about ballooning: People think only rich people are in it. And it’s actually the opposite. The cost for a small sport balloon starts at around $35,000. I couldn’t afford a balloon myself in the beginning so I co-owned my first two balloons with partners. It’s not rich people who are doing it, for the most part; it’s just everyday people that have decided this is their thing. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is about 70 people competing, a few corporate flyers like me, and the rest of the 600 or so participants are just doing it for fun.

When I first got to Albuquerque I thought it was the ugliest place on the planet. I’m from Minnesota where there’s trees and grass and water. Albuquerque’s the desert. I came in February and everything was brown—the trees were brown, the ground was brown, even the houses were brown. Until I flew, and it was incredibly amazing. We don’t have the humidity here, so you can see forever. On any given day you can see Mount Taylor, 75 miles away. I always wanted to live near mountains when I was a kid. The mountains to the east of us are a big chunk of rock, but they’re amazing. They’re called the Sandia mountains, which means watermelon. When the sun hits them right, they turn pink.

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Virgin Atlantic prepares for North America reopening | News


Virgin Atlantic has had a buoyant evening for flight bookings, following the much-anticipated reopening of the transatlantic corridor. 

Bookings to the USA increased by over 600 per cent compared to the same time last week. 

Would-be-travellers were boosted by an announcement from the Biden administration earlier this week that fully vaccinated UK citizens will be able to return to the US from November. 
New York had the most bookings of any US city overnight. 

Leisure destinations were also performing well, suggesting holidaymakers are ready for a much-needed break, with Orlando flights up 11-fold, Miami nine-fold and Las Vegas eight-fold.   

Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “Following the gradual relaxation of travel restrictions, we’ve seen demand increase to many of our global destinations, but the USA has always been our heartland. 

“We are simply not Virgin without the Atlantic, and I’m thrilled we’re finally able to return to the country that’s so important to us. 

“We’ve missed flying our customers to the USA and we can’t wait to welcome them back on board for their American adventures soon.” 

He added: “The news follows a busy weekend in flight bookings for the airline, demonstrating the positive impact the relaxation of government restrictions has had on the industry. 

“The simplification of rules on international travel, which include the scrapping of expensive PCR tests for the fully vaccinated,  are already having a significant impact on consumer confidence, resulting in a surge in demand across Virgin Atlantic’s route network.”

Flights to the airline’s sunny destinations in the Caribbean have risen 50 per cent week-on-week, with its newest route to St Vincent and the Grenadines, set to launch on October 13th, becoming the most booked Caribbean flight. 

Barbados follows closely behind, with bookings for both October half term and the Christmas break proving the most popular time to visit. 

Bookings to both Jamaica and St Lucia have also doubled.





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let’s make her ‘dreams come true’


Travel blogger Jenn Bethune, who identified Gabby Petito’s van in video footage from a summer trip to Wyoming, on Tuesday reacted to news of the FBI confirming remains discovered Sunday belonged to the 22-year-old.

The agency on Tuesday said Teton County coroner Brent Blue had identified remains located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sunday as Gabby Petito’s and that she had died of homicide.

“I’m tired. I’m worn out. I am exhausted. I am drained emotionally and physically,” Bethune said in a Tuesday Instagram post. “My brain is mush. My phone has been attached to the charger so much, I feel reminiscent of the corded phones I grew up with. I think I’ve consumed like 30 calories in the last 36 hours. Coffee counts, right?”

She added that her emotions have felt like a “flipping carnival ride” that keeps spinning.

TRAVEL BLOGGER DESCRIBES STUMBLING ON GABBY PETITO’S VAN IN WYOMING VIDEO: ‘I GOT CHILLS’

“But every bit of it was worth it,” she said of the aftermath that followed her decision to publish footage of Petito’s van, which she located around the same vast campground area the 22-year-old’s remains were discovered. “It was worth it because this community came together and brought Gabby home.”

Bethune went on to say that Petito has “brought so many people together, so many hearts, beating as one.”

GABBY PETITO’S REMAINS FOUND IN WYOMING, FBI CONFIRMS ‘HOMICIDE’

“She is a beacon of light and hope. And we can never fully repay her for what she’s done for us,” the travel blogger said before encouraging her followers to get Petito to 1 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, Nomadic Statik, to make her dreams of becoming a travel blogger come true.

Petito and her 23-year-old fiancé, Brian Laundrie, were traveling from New York to Oregon in a white 2012 Ford Transit van that they converted into a camper. Petito had aspirations of becoming a travel blogger and had set up a YouTube page and website under the name Nomadic Statik to get her blogging career off the ground just before she disappeared.

Petito’s Instagram and TikTok accounts also display various places she and Laundrie traveled over the summer. Her last Instagram post with a specific location was in Moab, Utah, at Arches National Park, though she published photos afterward with no location. Her last Instagram post was published three weeks ago.

Bethune’s video suggested the pair was last together in late August in Wyoming near Grand Teton National Park.

GABBY PETITO: BRIAN LAUNDRIE SEARCH RESUMING IN CARLTON RESERVE AS AUTOPSY DUE TUESDAY

Bethune concluded: “I know I am completely spent, but that is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING compared to what Gabby’s family is going through. I know they are hurting, they are broken, and extremely tired. But I also know that They are incredibly strong and beautiful humans and I admire them more than words can say.”

Bethune previously told Fox News that she noticed the white van that Petito and Laundrie were driving in her blogging footage after someone tagged her in a story urging her and anyone in the Tetons at the end of August to look through photos and videos for any possible clues in Gabby’s disappearance.

Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11, weeks after she last spoke with her mother in late August.

Laundrie returned home to North Port, Fla., where the couple lived with Laundrie’s parents, 10 days earlier on Sept. 1 with no sign of his fiancé. Authorities recovered the van on Sept. 11, and began a forensic examination of the vehicle on Sept. 14.

Laundrie is a person of interest in the case and has since also been reported missing. North Port law enforcement officers are continuing their search Tuesday for any signs of the 23-year-old in an area of the Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve not far from Laundrie’s family home.



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Local business teams up with Virginia is for Lovers to inspire travel across the Commonwealth


ROANOKE, Va – A Roanoke nonprofit is teaming up with Virginia is for Lovers to encourage more Black people to travel across the commonwealth.

Humble Hustle founder Xavier Duckett started the partnership to change the narrative around Virginia’s complicated history. The clothing line Hmble Hstle is where the partnership started.

The organization also hopes the partnership will inspire others to pursue their passions and explore more areas across the state.

“I mean, with everything travel, I think everybody knows the things that you get exposed to. It starts to change your mind and changes your perspective about things and so I think it’s important to promote that travel to the state, because of the history of Virginia,” said Duckett.

Organizers will host an event kicking off the partnership this Saturday at 1 p.m.

Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.



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Travel blogger who spotted Gabby Petito’s van reacts to news of homicide: let’s make her ‘dreams come true’


Travel blogger Jenn Bethune, who identified Gabby Petito’s van in video footage from a summer trip to Wyoming, on Tuesday reacted to news of the FBI confirming remains discovered Sunday belonged to the 22-year-old.

The agency on Tuesday said Teton County coroner Brent Blue had identified remains located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sunday as Gabby Petito’s and that she had died of homicide. 

“I’m tired. I’m worn out. I am exhausted. I am drained emotionally and physically,” Bethune said in a Tuesday Instagram post. “My brain is mush. My phone has been attached to the charger so much, I feel reminiscent of the corded phones I grew up with. I think I’ve consumed like 30 calories in the last 36 hours. Coffee counts, right?”

She added that her emotions have felt like a “flipping carnival ride” that keeps spinning. 

TRAVEL BLOGGER DESCRIBES STUMBLING ON GABBY PETITO’S VAN IN WYOMING VIDEO: ‘I GOT CHILLS’

“But every bit of it was worth it,” she said of the aftermath that followed her decision to publish footage of Petito’s van, which she located around the same vast campground area the 22-year-old’s remains were discovered. “It was worth it because this community came together and brought Gabby home.”

Bethune went on to say that Petito has “brought so many people together, so many hearts, beating as one.”

GABBY PETITO’S REMAINS FOUND IN WYOMING, FBI CONFIRMS ‘HOMICIDE’

“She is a beacon of light and hope. And we can never fully repay her for what she’s done for us,” the travel blogger said before encouraging her followers to get Petito to 1 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, Nomadic Statik, to make her dreams of becoming a travel blogger come true. 

Petito and her 23-year-old fiancé, Brian Laundrie, were traveling from New York to Oregon in a white 2012 Ford Transit van that they converted into a camper. Petito had aspirations of becoming a travel blogger and had set up a YouTube page and website under the name Nomadic Statik to get her blogging career off the ground just before she disappeared. 

Gabby Petito's Van may have been caught on Youtuber's camera

Gabby Petito’s Van may have been caught on Youtuber’s camera
(Red White & Bethune)

Petito’s Instagram and TikTok accounts also display various places she and Laundrie traveled over the summer. Her last Instagram post with a specific location was in Moab, Utah, at Arches National Park, though she published photos afterward with no location. Her last Instagram post was published three weeks ago.

Bethune’s video suggested the pair was last together in late August in Wyoming near Grand Teton National Park.

GABBY PETITO: BRIAN LAUNDRIE SEARCH RESUMING IN CARLTON RESERVE AS AUTOPSY DUE TUESDAY

Bethune concluded: “I know I am completely spent, but that is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING compared to what Gabby’s family is going through. I know they are hurting, they are broken, and extremely tired. But I also know that They are incredibly strong and beautiful humans and I admire them more than words can say.”

Bethune previously told Fox News that she noticed the white van that Petito and Laundrie were driving in her blogging footage after someone tagged her in a story urging her and anyone in the Tetons at the end of August to look through photos and videos for any possible clues in Gabby’s disappearance. 

Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11, weeks after she last spoke with her mother in late August. 

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Laundrie returned home to North Port, Fla., where the couple lived with Laundrie’s parents, 10 days earlier on Sept. 1 with no sign of his fiancé. Authorities recovered the van on Sept. 11, and began a forensic examination of the vehicle on Sept. 14.

Laundrie is a person of interest in the case and has since also been reported missing. North Port law enforcement officers are continuing their search Tuesday for any signs of the 23-year-old in an area of the Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve not far from Laundrie’s family home.



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