Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s sales volume for the first half of 2011 was US$13.4 billion, representing a 10% increase compared to the same period in 2010 (on a constant currency basis). Transactions rose 5% to 30.8 million.
CWT Ireland continued to buck the domestic economic trend, with total sales volume at more than €23 million, up 15% over the same period one year ago. The total number of transactions also grew by 22% in the same period. A strong base of clients in the export sector is continuing to travel for business and contributed to this growth. Client retention is at an all-time high, at 99%, and nearly €2 million in new sales was won in the first half of the year.
Lisa Whelan, Country Director, Ireland, said: “Business travel is a silver lining in the current economic climate. Our customers’ investment in growing their businesses during these challenging times is reflected in CWT’s positive performance in the first half of this year.”
Globally, CWT performance was strongest in Asia Pacific, where sales volume versus the first half of 2010 increased by 18%, followed by Latin America (12%), North America (11%) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (9%).
Douglas Anderson, CWT President and CEO, said: “Sales volume growth has accelerated along with year over year economic growth. Our continued strong customer focus has allowed us to maintain excellent client retention and satisfaction, while winning new sales and creating innovative solutions. Delivering innovative solutions for managed corporate travel continues to be a key priority for CWT.”
Since the beginning of 2011, CWT has introduced a number of product innovations designed to make travellers’ lives easier while supporting travel programme objectives. CWT To Go allows travellers to access their CWT travel itineraries from their mobile devices as well as to verify flight status, check in, research alternate flights, review and select dining options, find destination weather information, etc.
CWT also launched local and global versions of CWT Market, a dynamic, free application for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry users that aggregates best-of- market travel apps and mobile websites into one convenient app. CRS by CWT was launched as a new central reservation system for non-GDS hotels to facilitate bookings and boost programme compliance.
In the first half of 2011 CWT acquired its partner agency Kaleva Travel, a Finland-based travel management company with a presence in several important European markets: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.
The importance of improving the traveller experience at the same time as focusing on savings was emphasised in two reports published by the CWT Travel Management Institute: the first, an annual survey, Travel Management Priorities 2011, and the second, an in-depth report entitled Traveller Services: Finding the Right Fit.