Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), a world leader in business travel management, has launched CWT Connect¨, a packaged solution for the midmarket, the company announced today. The launch took place simultaneously in 13 countries throughout Europe.
According to Celine Guerton, EMEA mid-market director, companies with a travel budget of less than EUR2 million represent nearly 50 percent of the business travel market in Europe. She said, "Recent CWT research indicates that first and foremost, these companies expect information on the best available rates, online access, continuity between on- and offline services, efficient transaction services, and customized service
and advice. With our new CWT Connect offering, we can provide all of that."
CWT Connect Express & CWT Connect Business
The success of CWT Corporate Select ¨, launched in 2003 for small and medium-size companies in Europe prompted CWT to further develop specific mid-market solutions. Today, each of the new CWT Connect offerings combines a one-stop business travel portal with a full range of CWT products and services that can help with planning, booking, on-trip requirements and reporting. Both solutions offer multi-channel
fulfillment options and are available in English and local languages.
Elaborating on CWTÕs latest solutions, Ms. Guerton said, "Clients who use CWT Connect can book travel on- or offline by using CWTÕs industry-leading online booking tool or by contacting a CWT travel consultant directly. Our goal is to offer flexible, costeffective solutions that help satisfy clients' business travel needs."
Each of the two CWT Connect packaged solutions was designed with specific company profiles in mind and offers features that are in keeping with clients' business travel objectives and needs:
- CWT Connect Express was created for small companies that do not have a managed travel program, but need basic, cost-effective travel-management tools and services. In addition to the offline services provided by knowledgeable CWT travel counselors, the following are offered online through a single point of access:
- Travel-planning tools: flight and rail schedules, hotel information, safety and security reports, maps, currency converters and more
- Online booking: for 24/7 convenience; best available rates for flights, trains, hotels, car rentals and other travel-related items; as well as lower transaction fees
- Online reporting: pre-formatted, industry-standard business travel reports through CWT Discovery¨ ReportView
- CWT Connect Business, which was designed for mid-size companies with a managed travel policy and negotiated supplier agreements, also offers singlepoint access. In addition to the aforementioned features, the following are offered:
- Complete integration of the company travel policy into both on- and offline booking options helps increase compliance. Clients can manage non-compliant requests before bookings are finalized via the electronic booking tool, thanks to the validation workflow option.
- Global reporting and information: consolidated online global reporting and access to CWT-exclusive research and information to help companies make more informed decisions, better manage travel expenditures and effectively report results to senior management.
- Account Management: clients of CWT Connect Business also have the possibility of working with CWT account managers who monitor performance indicators and identify areas for actionable improvement. Tailored consulting packages from the CWT Solutions Group are also available to help optimize travel spend.
- Enhanced safety and security information: risk assessments, customized country reports, health information and global traveler tracking.
CWT Connect Express and CWT Connect Business also offer additional services that benefit both travelers and their companies:
- Customer service: CWT professionals are available before, during and after travel is booked to provide assistance.
- Emergency services: CWT operates a 24/7 multilingual emergency service center to assist travelers at all times.
- Meetings and events support: from planning through on-site implementation.
CWT Connect Express and CWT Connect Business allow clients to manage their business travel directly and offer multiple benefits to companies and travelers alike:
- Extensive content: access to the best market fares (CWT-negotiated rates and all promotional public fares, including low-cost carriers) and relevant travel information facilitate trip-planning.
- Cost savings: exclusive CWT-negotiated rates, coupled with more costeffective online booking - thanks to reduced transaction fees and more costconscious choices that come from seeing the full scope of available prices -- result in overall savings.
- Time savings: travelers and travel arrangers save time thanks to single-point access to travel-planning information and efficient online booking.
- Convenience 24/7: constant online access provides maximum convenience for busy travelers.
- Ease of use: intuitive, easy-to-use online booking tools enable travelers to use them immediately.
- Quality: as a worldwide leader in corporate travel management and online booking, CWT is committed to offering clients of all sizes best-in-class products and services around the world.
"The launch of CWT Connect across Europe is consistent with our strategy to globally provide a three-tier offering that meets the needs of companies of all sizes. CWT Connect Express, CWT Connect Business and CWT Connect Enterprise¨, for large or global companies that want tailor-made solutions, is our response," said Martin Warner, executive vice president, global accounts and solutions.
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