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Carlson Wagonlit Travel Releases CWT Horizon v6.0, Further Promoting Online Booking and Policy Compliance for Clients and Travelers
Minneapolis, MN | May 12, 2008
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), the leading travel management company, has deployed in North America the latest release of its proprietary online booking tool, CWT Horizon. Version 6.0 of the tool further encourages online booking through convenient traveler features and enhancements such as a new, more interactive map-based hotel booking experience, predictive searching, a redesigned look and feel, group trip functionality, and incentives for preferred hotel bookings, all of which drive travel policy compliance for companies.
"This is a significant release for CWT and its clients as we have reached another milestone in online booking tool usability," stated Loren Brown, chief information officer and executive vice president, Technology & Product Management for Carlson Wagonlit Travel. "The enhanced functionality sets a new standard in ease of use and speed of booking for travelers, driving online bookings, policy compliance and, ultimately, savings for our clients."
CWT design architects and programmers led the effort to further enhance the functionality of CWT Horizon in collaboration with CWT clients, their travelers and CWT travel counselors. In the company's annual Voice of the Customer survey, CWT Horizon continually achieves leading client satisfaction scores.
Enhanced Hotel Booking Process
At the core of the tool enhancements is mapping functionality that enables clients to center their hotel searches around pre-loaded, client-identified company, customer and vendor locations for a given destination. Travelers can select their desired office location from within the map itself, and the map updates to reflect hotels within a specific proximity. Likewise, if a business traveler is going to a one-time destination, such as an industry conference, they can enter an address and the mapping functionality will pinpoint nearby hotels.
CWT Horizon now provides predictive hotel search capabilities to display previously booked hotels at the top of the results list, further streamlining the booking process for travelers and their travel arrangers. Travel managers can choose whether to enable this functionality for preferred suppliers only or for both preferred and non-preferred suppliers.
Also new with CWT Horizon 6.0 are convenient search filters that allow travelers to refine their searches with a variety of self-selected parameters that focus results by individual hotel amenities, preferred supplier status, or specific hotel chains, for example. This drill-down hotel search functionality is modeled after the enhanced air shopping clients currently enjoy in CWT Horizon.
Finally, CWT Horizon 6.0 sports a new, refreshed user interface that includes hotel property images, an updated color palette, new fonts, a fresh primary and background color scheme, and generally more white space for enhanced usability and navigation.
Group Trip Functionality
CWT Horizon 6.0 also satisfies the differing requirements between individual business travel and centralized meetings with its new, group trip functionality. Not restricted to traditional company meeting planners, these capabilities enable department administrators to create a simple group template with travel details such as travel dates, destination, hotel arrangements, transportation, etc., which allows travelers to easily book their trip online based on the parameters outlined.
For many companies, this group trip booking functionality is another key step in supporting policy compliance and more thoroughly identifying current meetings spend, with the end goal of driving better pricing and service during supplier negotiations. Additionally, there are time savings to be realized for department administrators, who can simply create a trip template and distribute it as an invitation to all meeting attendees, rather than coordinating arrangements with each individual separately. Travelers will experience a simplified booking process through an invitation linked to CWT Horizon and meeting parameters. Finally, post-ticketed reporting is available for group trip reservations through the CWT Program Management Center, the company's Web-based central gateway to the information and performance metrics travel managers need to optimize their travel program.
Incentives for Travel Policy Compliance
This latest release of CWT Horizon also provides companies more opportunities to promote preferred hotel properties among their traveling employees by providing incentives for booking online, ultimately increasing compliance to the travel program. Incentives are offered directly by a company's preferred hoteliers, are specific to a particular property, and provide a direct benefit to travelers, such as additional loyalty points, free breakfast, or free Internet access.
"Early feedback from our clients has been very positive," stated Chad Schneider, CWT Horizon product manager, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. "They are excited about the new functionality and are encouraged to have additional means of promoting online booking and compliance among their traveling population."
CWT Horizon first debuted in 2000 and became the online booking tool for the CWT Symphonie suite, launched in 1999. This suite of tools was then and remains today the first fully integrated travel management environment operating from a single database, providing online booking, counselor-assisted reservations, profile management, and Web reporting in one platform. Clients using CWT Horizon, in conjunction with the other tools in the suite, realize increased adoption rates - by as much as 20 percent - because of its seamless integration with the tools for profile management and counselor-assisted reservations.
About Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) is a global leader specializing in business travel management. Present in more than 150 countries, CWT serves companies of all sizes, as well as government institutions and non-governmental organizations. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of savings, service and security, and provides best-in-class service and assistance to travelers. CWT services and solutions comprise four lines of business: Traveler & Transaction Services, Program Optimization, Safety & Security, and Meetings & Events. CWT has 22,000 employees worldwide. In 2007, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$25.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.carlsonwagonlit.com.