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CWT is Founding Member of World’s First Travel Innovation Incubator

AMSTERDAM | 4 FEBRUARY, 2015

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) today announced it is one of the founding members of Welcome City Lab.

Created in 2013 by Paris&co with the support of the City of Paris, BpiFrance and the Tourist and Congresses Bureau of Paris, Welcome City Lab is the world’s first incubator dedicated to travel.

CWT joins other founding members ADP, Air France, Amadeus, Galeries Lafayette, Skyboard, Sodexo Prestige and Viparis. CWT is the only travel management company in the founding members’ line up of the Welcome City Lab’s strategic board.

The Welcome City Lab receives around 200 applications annually, and to-date has helped incubate around 30 start-ups dedicated to the travel sector. The aim of Welcome City Lab is to assist and promote an ecosystem of innovative young companies, which can collaborate with established travel brands to develop industry-enhancing technology and services.

Through CWT’s status as founding member, the company’s corporate innovation team will mentor, support and help pilot new start-ups as well as suggesting potential research and studies which start-ups and founding members can collaborate on.

CWT president & CEO Douglas Anderson said of the collaboration: “We are delighted to be one of the founding members of Welcome City Lab. This collaboration aligns with our ongoing commitment to innovation in our sector. CWT has always been a leader in its industry and this collaboration enables us to associate with new players and find groundbreaking ideas and technologies that could benefit our clients in the future.”

Laurent Queige, general manager of Welcome City Lab added: “We are very pleased that CWT joins us. CWT is a major actor in the travel management industry, and helps us complete our board of founding members. It opens up new opportunities of new collaboration for our start-ups.”

Vincent Lebunetel, vice president, Corporate Innovation, CWT, concluded: “By its nature, the travel industry keeps moving and changing. Incubators such as Welcome City Lab are crucial for innovation and our industry, and this collaboration allows us to foster innovations and work with fresh minds and new businesses.

Notes to Editor
CWT’s corporate innovation team has a dedicated web gateway. For more information, visit www.cwtinnovation.com.

About CWT
CWT is a global leader specialized in managing business travel and meetings and events. CWT serves companies, government institutions and non-governmental organizations of all sizes in more than 150 countries and territories. 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, security and sustainability. The company is also committed to providing best-in-class service and assistance to travelers. In 2013, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$26.9 billion. As part of its commitment to responsible business, CWT is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact Ten Principles. For more information about CWT, please visit our global website at www.carlsonwagonlit.com. Follow us on Twitter @CarlsonWagonlit.

About Welcome City Lab
Paris, the world’s leading tourist destination, aims to invent the tourism of the future and become the capital of tourist innovation. Welcome City Lab is a program to promote innovation in the tourism industry including the first incubator in the world on this subject. The dedicated website will offer a range of services for startups and those involved in the tourism industry: an incubator, a place for meeting, exchanging and co-working, an experimental platform and a monitoring service. www.welcomecitylab.com

Media Contacts
Carrie-Ann Cooper or Chloe Couchman
CWT Global                          
+ 44 (0)20 3353 1110/1497 (office)    
+44 (0)7784 458 884/ +44 (0)7767 418 834                 
ccooper@carlsonwagonlit.com / ccouchman@carlsonwagonlit.com

Léa Galice
Welcome City Lab
Project Manager
+33 (0)6 51 75 41 71
lea.galice@parisandco.com