We speak to Geraldine Valenti, senior director, CWT Solutions Group EMEA, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, about managing travel in Asia.
What does this role involve?
I’m in charge of CWT’s consulting division for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We are a group of 60 travel and expense experts helping corporations find value from travel and expense data.
Our expertise spans across four practices:
· Data insights - we bring our customers the possibility to simplify the complexity of data for effective decision making
· Supplier management - our clients get more from their supplier relationships, beyond sourcing. With expense data visibility we enable them to find new savings
· Traveller engagement - drive programme savings by engaging with travellers in new ways
· Mobility consulting - bringing our customers new opportunities for change in their travel programme from industry evolution
How long have you been with CWT?
I’ve been with CWT for over 10 years. I was fortunate to work in several customer-facing roles over the course of my career both in Europe and Asia Pacific.
You’re speaking at the Business Travel Show about making a success of managing suppliers and service providers in Asia – why the focus on Asia right now?
Asia is one of the power houses of global economy, an increasing amount of businesses have dealings with this fascinating part of the world. It is a diverse region and to be most effective in managing your travel programme in Asia, you want to make sure you get the intricacies of the supplier landscape, communication techniques and diversity of opportunities and challenges.
What are the main differences between business travel in the UK and Asia?
Interestingly, I would say that some parts of Asia have grown so fast that they skipped the 2.0 phase and for example went from paper tickets to mobile QR code tickets directly. I’m looking forward to exploring more during the session with our audience.
What are you most looking forward to at the Business Travel Show?
Connecting with travel professionals from the UK and learning more about everyday challenges which CWT Solutions Group can help with. Also meeting our customers and hearing about industry evolution is very important and key to continuing to develop a relevant offer to the market.
What is next for CWT Solutions Group this year?
My priority is to continue to bring new offerings to an ever-evolving market focusing on travel and expense optimisation. We are also growing our presence in the UK market with a large team now established in our London office.
What do you think the biggest priority for travel managers will be in 2017?
The travel managers’ priority is to get value from data and seeing what can be changed with suppliers and travellers to gain savings and improve travel effectiveness.
You can catch Geraldine Valenti discussing: “Making a success of managing suppliers and service providers in Asia” in her masterclass at the Business Travel Show on Wed, 22 Feb, 10:00-11:00. Please visit www.businesstravelshow.com to register for a free visitor pass.