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India emerges as second largest market for Rail Europe in 2023: Björn Bender, CEO and Executive Chairman

In a significant milestone for Rail Europe, India has emerged as the second largest market for train bookings in 2023, marking a historic achievement after nearly three decades of presence in the country.

Björn Bender, CEO and Executive Chairman of Rail Europe, highlighted this development during his visit to India, stating, “In 2023, India has become our second strongest source market after the US, a first in our 90-year history. We saw a 65% recovery from India in 2022, and currently, the company is at 75% of pre-2019 levels. The growth in 2023, at 11% on both B2B and B2C fronts compared to 2019, showcases India’s remarkable progress.”

The growth from India accounted for approximately 10% of total tickets sold across channels in 2023. Bender noted, “India, alongside the US, Korea, Japan, and Australia, has consistently been among our top five markets for the past decade. Now, India has risen to the second position after the US. We anticipate a 20% growth from India in 2024.”

As a regular train traveller logging 75,000 kilometres in 2023 alone, Bender sees the European railway as a EUR 70 billion industry. “We anticipate the European rail sector to experience double-digit growth year on year. Our aim is to accelerate even further; on average, we forecast a 25% growth for the company, contingent upon various geopolitical factors.”

Regarding product preferences from India, Rail Europe has observed high demand for Eurail Pass and Swiss Pass, along with increasing interest in point-to-point tickets. Bender highlighted the unique seat reservation technology available, facilitating agents to book a wide range of options for travellers, including seat reservations for Bernina Express and Glacier Express in Switzerland, which have gained popularity in India. Additionally, seat booking for the Eurail Pass is now offered.

 

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