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Our history

Milestones in our journey as an industry leader

2010 - now

2021

  • In August, Bill Courtney is appointed as Chief Financial Officer with effect from 1 September 2021.
  • In June, CWT announces its commitment to significantly reduce its environmental footprint by signing the Science Based Targets Call to Action Standard Commitment Letter and enhances CWT Travel Essentials with 5 new features and 12 languages.
  • In April, Michelle McKinney Frymire is appointed as Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 May 2021. Patrick Andersen is appointed Chief Commercial Officer and Niklas Andreen is appointed Chief Operating Officer.

2020

  • In October, CWT Meetings & Events launches CWT easy meetings, a direct-booking platform for small meetings. The platform gives meeting organizers access to over 250,000 meeting rooms in hotels (both independent and chain) as well as unique venues & event spaces in more than 90 countries.
    In addition, CWT launches its 8th annual Responsible Business Report, showing continued momentum, including being awarded the newly established EcoVadis Platinum sustainability rating and maintaining the United Nations (UN) Global Compact Advanced Level.
  • In September, CWT Solutions Group, the consulting arm of CWT, creates a new responsible travel consulting framework to help companies look beyond compliance and cost management, and build more balanced travel programs that also align with other important objectives.
  • In July, CWT announces two new additions to its return to travel resources, which will further arm companies and their traveling employees with the information they need to make confident decisions in the rapidly evolving travel landscape.
  • In May, CWT announces a strong performance for 2019, with increases in transaction volumes, sales, and revenues.
    In addition, the integration with Concur Travel is expanded, so that CWT clients using Concur Travel may select RoomIt by CWT™, the hotel distribution division of CWT, as their exclusive source of hotel content.
  • In April, CWT is awarded Platinum status for responsible business by EcoVadis – top rating for the fourth successive year.
    Also, Michelle McKinney Frymire is named Chief Finance & Strategy Officer, and Patrick Andersen is named Chief Commercial Officer and President of RoomIt.
  • In February, CWT partners with Timeshifter to offer jet lag solution for traveling employees
  • In January, CWT launches the first open API-based global travel management platform for China, and CWTSatoTravel partners with US Defense Department’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP).
    In addition, CWT Energy, Resources & Marine (ERM) have signed a preferred global agreement with The Visa Team, a specialist in visa-handling services for the oil and gas, mining, and marine industries and CWT launches its Business Travel On the Fly podcast.

2019

  • In December, CWT Meetings and Events announces the restructuring of its leadership team under Derek Sharp, with six global positions to match and deliver its new global operating model for customers.
  • In November, John Pelant is appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
  • In October, CET announces the first successful live NDC booking through Amadeus Selling Platform Connect, a Level-4 NDC-certified solution that has the capability to shop, book, pay, cancel, refund, void and exchange tickets, while RoomIt by CWT™ announces new strategic partnerships with multiple global hotel guest acquisition platforms - with SiteMinder and Vertical Booking being joined by RateGain and RateTiger by eRevMax as part of RoomIt’s growing channel manager program.
    In addition, CWT and the Carlson Family Foundation host the Minnesota Hackathon to fight online child trafficking in partnership with Thorn.
  • In September, CWT Meetings & Events is named to CMI 25 List for 10th year in a row
  • In August, RoomIt by CWT™ announces its first global campaign in support of the World Childhood Foundation, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
    In addition, Richard (Rick) Carlson Gage was appointed Chair of Carlson Inc.
  • In June, CWT publishes its 2019 Annual Responsible Business Report and reached its third consecutive annual EcoVadis Gold rating and the United Nations Global Compact Advanced Level rating for its annual Responsible Business Report.
  • In May, CWT Meetings & Events signs an agreement with Kaplan Higher Education Academy (KHEA), part of Kaplan in Singapore, a leading private education institution, to enhance employment opportunities for students in the hospitality & MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) industries.
  • In April, CWT secures a UK Cyber Essentials certification. This UK Government-backed scheme is designed to protect organizations and their data against a wide range of cyberattacks.
  • In March, CWT reported strong growth in 2018.
  • In March, CWT is awarded 3rd successive EcoVadis Gold status in recognition of responsible business practices.
  • In February, CWT rebrand and updated customer value proposition is launched.
  • In January, Michelle McKinney Frymire is appointed CFO.

2018

  • Kurt Ekert is named Vice Chair of United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board in November.
  • In November CWT launched AI-powered travel reporting tool, CWT AnswerIQ
  • In October, Derek Sharp is appointed Managing Director of CWT Meetings & Events.
  • In September, Niklas Andréen is appointed Executive Vice President & Chief Traveller Experience Officer.
  • CWT reported strong 2017 performance in April.
  • In March, Catherine Maguire-Vielle is appointed Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • In March, Diana Nelson, Kurt Ekert and the ELT signed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

2017

  • In December, CWT passes the one-millionth registered user milestone for the mobile app, CWT To Go™, and began trialling air booking capabilities.
  • In December, Dave Falter is appointed as President of RoomIt by CWT.
  • In November, CWT delivers a new travel technology platform, myCWT, to drive digital products.
  • In July, CWT becomes the first TMC to build and launch its own hotel distribution business, RoomIt by CWT.
  • In February, Brad Hall is appointed as Chief Financial Officer.

2016

  • In September, CWT launches CWT 3.0 growth strategy and vision to be the leading digital TMC.
  • In April, Kurt Ekert is named President and CEO of CWT.

2015

  • In January, President and CEO Doug Anderson is named foundational board chair for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation, the education and research arm of GBTA.

2014

  • In November, CWT announces its Corporate Innovation team, dedicated to further driving and developing a company-wide culture of innovation.
  • In June, Carlson enters into a definitive agreement with JP MorganChase to acquire full ownership of CWT, heralding an exciting new chapter for the company.
  • In April, CWT Meetings & Events announces its entry into China's rapidly growing meetings and events market.

2013

  • In September, CWT wins the GBTA Project ICARUS Europe travel supplier outstanding achievement award 2013 – intermediary, for the CWT Travel Stress Index.
  • In January, CWT celebrates 10 years in China and renews its joint venture relationship with China Air Services for a further 10 years

2012

  • In October, CWT Acquires WorldMate, leader in mobile travel technology, and also wins "Best Corporate Travel Agency 2012" at the TTG Travel Awards.
  • In July, CWT To Go TM, our mobile app, wins the 2012 Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) award for innovation of the year in the category of "Outstanding apps" – voted for by business travellers.

2011

  • CWT expands its presence in Latin America with two acquisitions: Centenial Group, its partner in Costa Rica since 2004, in October, and Net Tour Viagens E Turismo LTDA (Net Tours) in Brazil in November.
  • In May, CWT starts its mobile services offering with the launch of CWT To Go, a free mobile services application that allows travellers to access their travel itineraries directly from their mobile devices while on their trips. 
  • In February, CWT acquires Kaleva Travel Ltd., its partner since 1995, with operations in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.

2010

  • CWT creates a new global organisation for its energy, resources and marine clients, providing integrated services by some of the industry's most skilled professionals, many of whom have more than 20 years' travel management and business experience in the highly specialised energy sector.

2000 - 2009

2009

  • In February, CWT received a 2009 Business Travel Innovation Award for its compliance-enhancing solution CWT Policy Messenger at the Business Travel Show held in London. This marks the second consecutive innovation award for CWT in the competition's Travel Management Services Category.

2008

  • In October, CWT signed a global agreement with The CarbonNeutral Company, the leading carbon offset and climate consulting firm, to provide emissions management services to CWT clients and enhance its CWT Sustainable Solutions offering.
  • In July, CWT and American Express Global Commercial Card signed a multi-year, preferred supplier agreement by which CWT will promote and distribute three American Express payment solutions to its clients and prospects in 21 countries.
  • Douglas Anderson is named President and CEO of CWT in April.

2007

  • In July, CWT announces the addition of ground transportation (which includes rental car, black car/limo and rail) to its repertoire of programme optimisation services.
  • In July, CWT gains majority control of Indian joint venture. The transaction underscores CWT's commitment to India's corporate travel market.

2006

  •  In August, CWT finalises acquisition of Navigant International, doubling its size in North America and reinforcing its presence in Asia Pacific.
  • A change in CWT's shareholding structure also occurs in August: Carlson and One Equity Partners (OEP) acquire Accor's 50 per cent stake in CWT. Carlson becomes majority shareholder with 55 per cent of CWT shares, while OEP holds the remaining 45 per cent.

2005

2004

  • Hubert Joly is named President and CEO of CWT in July.
  • CWT acquires Maritz Corporate Travel in the United States in March, and Onboard in Germany in October, demonstrating its continuous commitment to playing a leading role in the consolidation of the travel management industry.

2003

  • CWT opens its first eCenter in Warsaw, Poland. This new service configuration is designed to handle multinational clients with business travellers in several European cities from a single business travel centre.
  • CWT and China Air Service establish a joint venture operation, CWT China, headquartered in Beijing.

2001

  • CWT and Japan Travel Bureau create a joint venture, JTB/CWT Business Travel Solutions.      

2000

1999 and before

1998

  • CWT creates the CWT Solutions Group, whose experts provide consulting services to clients, notably in the selection and deployment of new technologies and in strategic air and hotel sourcing.

1997

  • Carlson Travel Network in the United States and Wagonlit Travel in Europe merge to form the Carlson Wagonlit Travel network for business travel. The new company is the first truly global travel services company with international management.

1995

  • CWT acquires Dodwell Travel from Inchcape Group and establishes CWT Hong Kong.

1994

  • Carlson Companies, Inc. of Minneapolis and the Paris-based Accor Group combine the business travel interests of their respective companies, Carlson Travel Network and Wagonlit Travel, under the name Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

1993

  • Wagons-Lits Travel changes its name to Wagonlit Travel and consolidates its network, products and services for multinational companies.

1992

  • Accor acquires La Compagnie des Wagons-Lits.
  • Ask Mr. Foster changes its name to Carlson Travel Network, to capitalise on the professionalism, strength, and synergy of the Carlson Companies.

1991

  • Carlson Companies acquires P. Lawson Travel.

1980

  • Wagons-Lits Travel is the first business travel agency in Europe to create implants or on-site locations in the offices of clients. The company also introduces the widespread use of computer reservation systems and offers global reporting to European business travel customers. It expands quickly through major acquisitions in Denmark, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe.

1960

  • The "Compagnie des Wagons-Lits" expands its mission of serving travellers to become Wagons-Lits Travel, Europe's largest travel management company.

1957

  • Ask Mr. Foster changes hands when two shareholders, Donald Fischer and Thomas Orr, pay US$157,000 for controlling interest in the company, which had seen hard times during and in the wake of World War II.

1928

  • Full-service Wagons-Lits agencies spring up in rail ticket offices throughout Europe.

1888

  • The Ask Mr. Foster travel agency is founded in St. Augustine, Florida, making it one of the oldest travel agencies in the United States. Its unusual name is the result of one local resident, Ward G. Foster, who is the unofficial keeper of the train timetables. When tourists inquire about the time of train arrivals or departures, they are told to "Ask Mr. Foster."

1872

  • Belgian innovator Georges Nagelmackers begins a new enterprise with the sole purpose of serving the traveller. Adding sleeping compartments to trains serving the European continent, he founded the company, Wagons-Lits, which literally means "sleeping cars." Nagelmackers goes on to create the Orient Express.