skipnavigation

Our History

Milestones in our journey as an industry leader

2016

  • Kurt Ekert is named President and CEO of CWT in April.

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 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 November, CWT announces its Corporate Innovation team, dedicated to further driving and developing a company-wide culture of innovation.
  • 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 travelers.

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 travelers 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 organization 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 specialized energy sector.

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 program optimization 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 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.

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 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.

2001

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

2000

  • Hervé Gourio is named president and chief executive officer in October.

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 capitalize 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 travelers 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 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.