Cross-Canada Mission Previews CWT Brand Change

A new partnership agreement with Virtuoso is a key aspect to a re-branding of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT).

The long-time travel company has just launched the first stage of a progressive change to CWT Vacations.

That process will take months to complete, but the initial steps are underway now, at a series of events that are currently crossing Canada.

Vancouver was the first stop in the road show schedule, and it took place May 25-26 at the Hilton Vancouver Airport in Richmond. It was followed by an event in Saint-Sauveur in Quebec at the Manoir Saint Sauveur.

On June 8 and 9, the Carlson Wagonlit mission will come to Toronto, where it will conduct business at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre.

At each of these, presenters are emphasizing the priority of focusing more intently on customer wants and needs, reflected in the slogan “Your World, Your Way.”

Members of the travel trade, including Carlson Wagonlit travel advisors, agency owners/managers and supplier partners, are getting the re-brand news now, while a “consumer-facing” launch is scheduled for September. By 2021, the Carlson Wagonlit Travel will be completely replaced by the CWT Vacations branding.

“A brand change is a bold move, and the travel advisors need to believe in it and own it,” said Úna O’Leary, senior director of the marketing, supplier management & associate program, North American leisure.

A vital element to that will be the Virtuoso partnership, said the leadership team in attendance at the recent Vancouver event.

“We will now have access to the unique products that are available from Virtuoso,” said Mark Stubbert, senior director of North American operations.

“The travel consumer is focused on collecting experiences and Virtuoso allows us to expand on that outlook.”

To maximize those opportunities, CWT Vacations is also ramping up the training of its agents, with a new training program for front line advisors. This will, for instance, encourage the development of destination specialists, and will change the essential sales proposition to consumers, to emphasize the question “what do you want to get out of your vacation?” said Stubbert. Collectively, this training program is called the Art of Curating Travel, or ACT.