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CWT Meetings & Events grows 12 per cent in 2015

Meetings arm grows despite continued challenging economic climate

Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s meetings and events arm saw 12 per cent global growth in 2015.

Last year CWT Meetings & Events organised more than 27,500 meetings and events around the world for more than 1.2 million delegates. The events division of the global business travel company also completed the acquisition of French events agency Ormès in 2015, creating one of the largest meetings and events agencies in France. 

CWT Meetings & Events believes its 12 per cent global growth reflects the trend of global companies seeking new opportunities to consolidate, make effective use of their budget spend and improve their meeting and event delegate experience.  

Douglas Anderson, president and chief executive of CWT, said: “Our solid results demonstrate our ongoing commitment to help our clients run cost effective travel programmes and our travellers to safely reach their destination. In 2015, we introduced several significant innovations with CWT AnalytIQs and CWT To Go hotel booking, further enhancing customer value.”

2015 was also another good year for CWT’s app CWT To Go, with a 62 per cent growth in user registrations to 560,000. In early 2015, CWT launched fully integrated mobile hotel booking in 17 markets, achieving around 35,000 hotel bookings and $10m (£7m) in sales.  

Across the business as a whole, despite a continued challenging economic climate CWT increased its new business sales to $1.7 billion (£1.2bn). CWT’s transactions were stable at 61.4m, while overall sales volume reached $24.2bn (£16.9bn), reflecting the significant curtailment in travel expenses by energy customers. Excluding the impact of the energy portfolio, transactions increased by 1.3 per cent.

North American transactions increased by 1.1 per cent. Transactions in Europe, Middle East and Africa declined by 1.2 per cent while Latin America volume was down 7.8 per cent due to the weight of the energy sector and the economic recession in Brazil. Asia Pacific volumes were stable.

CWT maintained its strong client satisfaction scores with travel manager satisfaction of 90 per cent, combined with an 88 per cent traveller satisfaction rating and a 94 per cent retention rate.

Anderson added: "2015 was a challenging year for the industry overall given the continued sharp fall in energy prices and oil in particular. We nevertheless delivered solid results. We continued to focus on enhancing our technology offering, with the deployment of mobile hotel booking on CWT To Go and the global launch of CWT AnalytIQs, a powerful tool to report and manage travel data. Finally, we strengthened our growth platform in France with the acquisition of Ormès, a leader in meetings and events, and the sale of our leisure business Havas Voyages."

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