Carlson Wagonlit Travel is showing it’s serious about lodging, with 150 people already in its RoomIt dedicated hotel division, and more to come next year.
Six salespeople are selling RoomIt to businesses that are not clients of the mother ship.
“We have already signed a RoomIt-only client,” said CWT president for hotels Scott Brennan during a late September interview. “We have a robust pipeline. I’d guess over the next few weeks we’ll have five more signed contracts for RoomIt. We’re seeing companies that are doing $1 million to $2 million a year in hotel without a significant air component. If you’re spending $1 million on hotels, there’s a good chance we can save you $150,000 a year. On top of that we can offer duty of care, centralized billing, etc. Maybe next year we find that you should be negotiating with hotels.”
RoomIt offers hotel content from Booking.com, Expedia, the GDSs and CWT’s own negotiated rates.
Half of the total employees focus on technology, including a desktop and mobile booking platform targeting midmarket accounts, according to Brennan.
Some tech functions overlap with tools from CWT proper, but the company prioritizes stability for the latter. Developers update the RoomIt technologies more frequently, Brennan said.
On the large end of the market, CWT is spooling up RoomIt content for use by online booking tools. “If I’m a big, industrial travel manager and I have invested in Concur, the last thing I want is to abandon that for Roomit.com,” said Brennan. “That doesn’t resonate.”
He said CWT is in beta with Concur, Cytric and GetThere. Content already is live in KDS and Traveldoo.