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Travel Management

 May 08, 2006
Carlson Wagonlit Travel Launches CWT Travel. Perspective.

 Carlson Wagonlit Travel has launched an industry education program, CWT Travel. Perspective. , a series of events for existing and prospective clients to gain critical insight into key business travel trends, challenges and opportunities. The next program in the series, Perspective. Meetings Management., is May 16 in Dallas and will cover topics on meetings trends and opportunities, global consolidation, technology, supplier leverage and contracts.

The first event in the Travel. Perspective. series was held in February in San Francisco and covered the Asia Pacific marketplace. The one-day course included presentations by CWT general managers from the Asia Pacific region, and interactive breakout discussions on the state of business travel in key countries including China, Japan, India and Australia.

"Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region in business travel today and it is important to acknowledge the colorful personality of this market when defining, consolidating or expanding a travel management program there," said Jack O'Neill, chief operating officer of CWT North America. "We were very excited to offer the vast knowledge of our Asia Pacific leaders and to demonstrate the diversity and global impact of doing business in this region."

Representing more than 25 companies from a variety of industries, Travel. Perspective. attendees gained valuable insight into the Asia Pacific region through a variety of topics including the air carrier playing field, the hotel market and the emergence of online booking. Key discussion points and themes included:

- Low-cost carriers are gaining market share in Asia Pacific and are there to stay.
- Asia Pacific has the highest hotel occupancy rate in the world.
- Australia leads the online booking trend in the Asia Pacific region.
- A key to success when implementing and expanding a travel management program in Asia Pacific is to accept that there will be differences -- there is no "cookie cutter" approach for this region.

The Asia Pacific conference also included real-life case studies and experiences from CWT clients, posing challenges and solutions for managing Asia Pacific travel spend across 17 countries, restructuring hotel programs to reduce costs, and consolidating a travel management program in the region.

"The Perspective. program on Asia Pacific was well worth my time," said Marcia Saurman, director, Global Travel Management at Cadence, a leading electronic design automation technologies and engineering services company with approximately 5,000 employees around the world. "In one day, I received detailed information about the Asia Pacific region and its key markets, mingled with peers from other companies having similar travel interests, and now have tools to help me better manage my travel program overall. I will definitely attend another CWT Perspective. event."

The CWT Travel. Perspective. education series will continue with three additional programs scheduled over the course of 2006. Future topics include Meetings Management on May 16 in Dallas; Europe, Middle East and Africa on Sept. 26 in Boston; and Safety and Security on Nov. 14 in New York City. Due to attendee response and the high demand for insight into the Asia Pacific region, CWT is considering repeating the Perspective. Asia Pacific. travel session in another city later this year.