CWT adds more green travel options to corporate booking app

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Traveler habits are changing, so corporate booking tools need to reflect this as well. CWT’s relaunch comes at the right time as people aspire to be kinder to the planet when they travel.

Matthew Parsons

Corporate travel agency CWT has relaunched its mobile booking tool to include more sustainable modes of transport as companies try to go a little greener.

It is now starting to add car rental and training booking capabilities globally to its myCWT mobile and web channels. Previously, travelers could book the car and trains by contacting a CWT travel advisor via phone, email or text, or using third-party online booking tools, but the Minneapolis-based agency said the relaunch means it will now have more options to make and manage these reservations independently.

Customers also retain access to negotiated corporate rates and preferred suppliers, while loyalty program details from car rental companies are being integrated.

The upgrade comes after it promised to invest $100 million in its app as part of the terms of its $1.6 billion refinancing deal. It’s also part of a bid to deliver a so-called “omni-channel experience,” where agencies seek to offer clients the same content and experience regardless of how they engage with them.

Most importantly, this latest global launch helps its customers achieve their carbon emission savings goals.

To help travelers make more sustainable choices at the time of booking, the mobile app and online portal will feature indicators highlighting electric and hybrid car options. Carbon emission estimates will be added at a later date.

Research by Trainline last year showed that three in five business travelers were more likely to consider rail compared to before the pandemic, with one in five doing so to reduce their carbon footprint.

“Expanding the content of our trains and rental cars will play an important role in supporting our customers’ sustainability goals, which is now a top priority for most corporate travel programs,” said John Pelant, executive vice president. and chief technology officer, in a statement.

Crossing the last mile

As well as the push to promote greener travel, cars and trains are central to solving the “last mile” problem, where business travelers are looking to book that last leg of their journey to a meeting, workplace or home of them using the same app, rather than spending separately.

“This is absolutely a milestone for us, to scale and achieve full booking capability for the app,” said CWT chief customer officer Nick Vournakis, who hinted at further developments.

“Everyone talks about trying to solve the last mile, because at some point it’s not just car and rail anymore. You’re going to be talking about scooters and buses, and being able to at least provide guidance on how to navigate that last mile is also very important to the ride management company community.”

CWT will initially leverage its partnership with Trainline Partner Solutions in the UK, before bringing its myCWT mobile and web to other markets in Europe. The agency will also introduce carbon emission estimates at the point of booking for train travel later in the year.

Car and rail distribution also helps CWT reach more distant destinations – critical to growing business in markets like China. There is huge room for growth by targeting second cities in the destination, where many regions are inaccessible by flight, according to a recent business travel report published by

CWT launched its myCWT platform in China in January 2020, shortly before the pandemic.

While there are global goals, there will be some regions where booking functionality will be limited to some markets, Vournakis said.

Further, Vournakis said CWT wants to allow customers to share rides across the platform in their community. The agency also plans to include booking capability for travel operators, who are “such an underserved community when it comes to corporate travel management tools,” he added.

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