CWT Traffic Increases Nearly 17% in First Six Months of 2010

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Monday, 2 August 2010

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), a global leader specializing in business travel management, handled nearly 29.4 million transactions during the first six months of this year, a 13.2% increase compared to the same year-earlier period. Traffic totalled US$12.3 billion, up 16.6%.

Performance varied from one region to the next, with the greatest gains in traffic in Latin America (+48.1%) and Asia Pacific (+43.5%). In North America, traffic increased 18.2%, while EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) showed lower growth (+7.7%), reflecting slower economic recovery in the region.

CWT also reported new sales, excluding renewals, of US$781 million. Client retention remained strong at 96%.

Commenting on the company's performance, CWT president and chief executive officer Douglas Anderson said, "Business travel is back on the corporate agenda but if we compare figures for the first six months of this year to the first half of 2008, we can see traffic has not yet returned to pre-recessionary levels. Nonetheless, it is clear to us that companies fully understand the role business travel and meetings and events plays in helping them successfully reach their objectives. Today, as economic recovery continues, CWT is more committed than ever to providing efficient and innovative solutions that complement our clients' business strategy."

In the area of meetings and events, CWT also saw signs of economic recovery in the first half of this year. In Europe for example, clients are organizing 30% of their meetings outside of their home country, compared to 20% one year ago. The most popular destinations are Barcelona, Madrid, Nice, Paris and Rome. Average spend per participant per day is now at 175 versus 150 last year. Cancellations are down from 15% to 10%.

Mr. Anderson noted that clients worldwide are increasingly looking to combine "savings with impact." To that end, they are taking a more strategic approach to managing not only their business travel expenditure but their meetings and events spend. This includes the implementation of specific policies, consolidation of their internal teams and suppliers, optimized data management and analysis, and more effective processes and technology.

"Companies realize that meetings and events help move business forward. As a result, they want to maximize the return on their investment by driving savings, satisfaction and overall effectiveness," said Mr Anderson.

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