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Carlson Wagonlit Travel Reports Strong Growth in Latin America; Specialized Areas

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) enjoyed steady performance in its business travel activities in 2012, and significant growth in specialized areas, including CWT Meetings & Events and CWT Energy Services.

 Overall sales volume fell by 1.1% to US$27.7 billion from US$28.0 billion in 2011, and the number of transactions managed by CWT also fell slightly by 0.2% to 61.7 million compared to 61.9 million in 2011. New business sales in 2012 reached US$1.7 billion.

CWT grew most in Latin America, where transactions increased by 21% year-on-year, enhanced by the additional business from the acquisitions of Net Tours and Centenial Group in 2011, and by operations in Chile and Mexico, which performed particularly well.

Transactions in North America, a significant market for CWT, increased by 2.3%, mirroring a more favorable economic environment.

Transactions in Asia Pacific decreased by 2.4% year-on-year, despite strong performance in China and Japan, and dropped by 4.4% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, reflecting the economic climate throughout the region in 2012.

Douglas Anderson, CWT president and chief executive officer, said, “We are very pleased with our performance over the last year. As a global company with local operations all over the world, our diverse client portfolio has provided stability despite a fluctuating economic climate.”

CWT’s Specialized Business Areas

CWT Energy Services, a division entirely dedicated to facilitating travel for clients operating in oil and gas services and maritime and drilling exploration, grew by 22% and managed more than 2.3 million transactions for customers in 2012. CWT won business from several new global accounts in this sector, in addition to expanding business with existing clients. Energy companies are increasing their travel globally, particularly in areas such as Latin America and Asia Pacific, as they search for more energy sources and develop new facilities around the world. CWT specializes in managing travel for the complex requirements of the energy, resource and maritime sector and is focusing on further strengthening and expanding its offer in 2013.

CWT Solutions Group, the company’s consulting arm, grew by 17% and continued to introduce innovative ways to help companies get the best value from their travel programs and identify savings opportunities in even the most mature travel programs.

CWT Meetings & Events organized 35,000 meetings and events around the world for one million delegates and grew by 10% globally in 2012. This growth reflects companies’ needs to keep a close eye on cost control and introduce strategically managed meetings policies and programs that drive both results and savings.

Other notable progress in 2012 included the acquisition of WorldMate, a leader in mobile travel technology, putting CWT in full control of its own ‘mobile destiny;’ and CWT’s ongoing commitment to responsible business, as it became a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, related to human rights, the environment and anti-corruption.

2013

“2013 will be another exciting year for CWT,” said Anderson. “As part of our commitment to delivering the perfect trip to our clients and their travelers, we are investing further in our mobile services as well as driving change and value in managed travel through innovative tools and services.”

Expanding mobile and online services Working with WorldMate teams, CWT continues to reinforce its mobile offering to provide a more personalized and relevant approach to travelers. In 2013, CWT To Go powered by WorldMate will include additional tools, including an iPad version.

In addition to the automatic synchronization of CWT trips, travelers will also be able to forward to the app any trips booked through other channels, thus allowing all travel itineraries to be stored and managed within one place. Mobile booking, traveler profile updates and the ability to make booking changes through the app will also be integrated this year.

Travelers will also see new tools and improvements to CWT Portal – the CWT gateway to all online travel services – with 24/7 access to a range of traveler tools and booking services.

Ensuring traveler wellbeing Ensuring employees stay safe when they travel on business, especially to high-risk destinations, remains a major priority for CWT. 2013 will see CWT further reinforce its travel safety and security services to keep travelers in the know while they are on the move and help them if their travel plans get disrupted.

 Furthermore, CWT is tackling the wider picture of employee wellbeing; following on from its research into traveler stress, productivity levels and the consequent impact on cost, CWT will pilot its Travel Stress Index with clients during the first half of 2013.

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