Full recovery for Rail Europe in 2023 and focus on growth for 2024
Rail Europe, leading provider of rail tickets and rail passes for European train booking, has seen a record year in India this year with over 9% growth in business compared to the pre-Covid 2019 levels.
During her recent trip to India, Florence Pasquier, Chief Commercial Officer of Rail Europe, shared with TravelBiz Monitor in Mumbai, “In 2023, we’ve witnessed a record-breaking year with a growth of over 9% compared to 2019. Our GSA model forms the core of our operations in India, with India serving as our biggest market for this setup. Additionally, the global customer care center of Rail Europe is based in Mumbai, clearly demonstrating the value that the Indian market holds for us.”
Looking ahead to 2024, she said, “For 2024, I am expecting to reach 15% growth over 2023 from India. Indian travellers love Europe, especially Switzerland, Spain, Germany, and others. We are talking to our tour operators here to include rail segment in their itineraries to enhance the overall travel experience, offering a seamless and enjoyable journey that complements the essence of European travel.”
Group bookings is an important focus area for Rail Europe, as Indians love to travel via train. “Post-Covid, a lot of Indians are travelling in coach tours. We had interesting discussions with group tour operators in India, and are looking at varied combinations of rail journeys in Indian itineraries.”
Currently, Rail Europe is expanding its product portfolio to include Austrian, Danish, Spanish, and American trains. This expansion will encompass trains from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, along with airport connections. Florence mentioned, “We have a dynamic roadmap for 2024 and will continue to educate our trade partners in India while collaborating with National Tourism Offices (NTOs). Our aim is to enrich our offerings further for this market.”
Rail Europe allows travellers to book train tickets from more than 200 rail providers. Highlighting their most popular product in India, she stated, “The Swiss Travel Pass is our top-selling and iconic product for Indian travellers. This is closely followed by Eurostar, the French and Italian high-speed networks. Eurail is also doing a successful comeback after Covid. Also, our m-pass is a big draw among youth and student travellers.”