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Our history

Milestones in our journey as an industry leader

2020 - NOW


  • July
    CWT included in America’s Best Employers for Women.
    CWT signs ECPAT’s Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism.
  • June
    CWT launches 24/7 English-Mandarin bilingual hub service.
  • March
    CWT launches Real-Time Carbon Footprint Indicators to help customers make more sustainable choices.
  • February
    CWT unveils initial focus of $100m technology, innovation, and product investment plans.


  • November
    CWT to invest $100m in technology and innovative products as recapitalization plan is approved.
    CWT exceeds 2021 messaging integration targets with 1,000th customer adoption.
  • June
    Commitment to significantly reduce CWT's environmental footprint by signing the Science Based Targets Call to Action Standard Commitment Letter.


  • 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 .
    8th annual Responsible Business Report published, showing continued momentum, including being awarded the newly established EcoVadis Platinum sustainability rating and maintaining the United Nations (UN) Global Compact Advanced Level.
  • September
    CWT Solutions Group creates a new responsible travel consulting framework.
  • April
    CWT is awarded Platinum status for responsible business by EcoVadis – top rating for the fourth successive year.
  • February
    CWT partners with Timeshifter to offer jet lag solution for traveling employees
  • January
    CWT launches the first open API-based global travel management platform for China.
    CWTSatoTravel partners with US Defense Department’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP).
    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.
    Business Travel On the Fly podcast is launched.


2010 - 2019


  • December
    CWT Meetings & Events is named to CMI 25 List for 10th year in a row.
  • October
    First successful live NDC booking through Amadeus Selling Platform Connect.
    CWT and the Carlson Family Foundation host the Minnesota Hackathon to fight online child trafficking in partnership with Thorn.
  • September
    CWT Meetings & Events is named to CMI 25 List for 10th year in a row.
  • August
    RoomIt by CWT™ announces its first global campaign in support of the World Childhood Foundation, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • March
    CWT reported strong growth in 2018.
    CWT is awarded 3rd successive EcoVadis Gold status in recognition of responsible business practices.
  • February
    CWT rebrand and updated customer value proposition is launched.


  • November
    CWT launched AI-powered travel reporting tool, CWT AnswerIQ
  • April
    CWT reported strong 2017 performance.
  • March
    Diana Nelson, Kurt Ekert and the ELT signed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.


  • December
    CWT passes the one-millionth registered user milestone for the mobile app myCWT, (formerly called CWT To Go™) and began trialing air booking capabilities.
  • November
    CWT delivers a new travel technology platform, myCWT, to drive digital products.
  • July
    CWT becomes the first TMC to build and launch its own hotel distribution business, RoomIt by CWT.


  • September
    CWT launches CWT 3.0 growth strategy and vision to be the leading digital TMC.


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


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


  • October
    CWT Acquires WorldMate, leader in mobile travel technology, and also wins "Best Corporate Travel Agency 2012" at the TTG Travel Awards.
  • 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 travelers.


  • November
    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.
  • May
    CWT starts its mobile services offering with the launch of CWT To Go, a free mobile services application that allows travelers to access their travel itineraries directly from their mobile devices while on their trips. 
  • February
    CWT acquires Kaleva Travel Ltd., its partner since 1995, with operations in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.


2000 - 2009


  • 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.


  • October
    CWT 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.
  • 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.


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


  • August
    CWT finalizes 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 percent stake in CWT. Carlson becomes majority shareholder with 55 percent of CWT shares, while OEP holds the remaining 45 percent.



  • March
    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.


  • CWT opens its first eCenter in Warsaw, Poland. This new service configuration is designed to handle multinational clients with business travelers in several European cities from a single business travel center.
  • CWT and China Air Service establish a joint venture operation, CWT China, headquartered in Beijing.CWT celebrates 10 years in China and renews its joint venture relationship with China Air Services for a further 10 years.


  • CWT and Japan Travel Bureau create a joint venture, JTB/CWT Business Travel Solutions.     CWT acquires Kaleva Travel Ltd., its partner since 1995, with operations in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.


1900 - 1999


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


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


  • Carlson Companies acquires P. Lawson Travel.


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


1899 - 1872


  • 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."


  • Belgian innovator Georges Nagelmackers begins a new enterprise with the sole purpose of serving the traveler. 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.