12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) saw sales rise 30% last year to $25.5bn (”13bn), with growth up 45% in the US.
Sales also shot up in Australia (42%), Singapore (40%), Russia (38%), China (31%) and the UK (28%), while the company reported record annual new sales ” excluding renewals ” of more than $3bn, up 55% year on year.
”CWT had a milestone year in 2007 and I attribute our leadership in the market to our focused strategy and increasing capabilities, particularly in the area of programme management and programme optimisation, where we help our clients drive measurable savings while enhancing overall value,” said CWT president and CEO Hubert Joly.
Despite potential economic instability, Joly said the demand for business travel remains strong.
”Business travel is highly correlated with business growth, and when we did our budget for 2008 we were very prudent ” basing it on market growth of 2% - but the growth we are experiencing is way above that in first month of this year [up 11% in Europe compared to January 2006]," he said.
”The bottom seems to be falling from the economic market, but companies are still travelling because they have become very international and they can”t just stay at home,” added Joly. ”So we do now see a disconnection between the state of the financial market and that of the business travel market.”
Penetration of online booking continues to be around 41% in the US, while it has reached 30% in Japan and Australia, 14% in China and 11% in Europe ” in the UK it is ”in the 20s.”
CWT increased its volume of hotel bookings to $3.6bn - up 19% on the previous year ” and has established dedicated centres for hotel reservations in France, Italy and the UK. The company says its CWT HARP hotel database is the largest source of its kind among TMCs, with more than 160,000 entries.
Its CWT Programme Management Centre ” a one-stop gateway with everything needed to optimise a travel programme - has been adopted by more than 13,000 travel management professionals in nearly 100 countries. Joly said the company was ”very proud” that this system won an Innovation Award at the recent Business Travel Show in London.
Joly said the company was reigniting its acquisition programme, pointing out that following the integration of Navigant - the TMC it bought in 2006 ” clients were able to benefit from the best products developed by each company. In 2007, it acquired Preferred Travel in the US, Polo Viaggi in Italy and Ark Travel in Sweden.
He said that in the UK the company”s carbon calculator ”generates interest” but take up is relatively limited ” ”We expect it to ramp up, because I think the world needs to be more sensitive to global warming.”