With much of the European travel industry saturated, it is rare to see a travel sector showing anything like the potential of rail right now.
Take for example the recent EU Transport white paper which sets out a vision for travel in Europe. The paper foresees a huge modal shift in transportation, which would see rail take a more influential role across the continent.
The rail landscape in Europe is currently a very fragmented one although the industry is about to go through significant change.
Upcoming de-regulation will open up previously closed markets to competition, while EU legislators want to see the European rail industry governed by standards, much like the airline business has been for many years. They are looking to increase the number of people that travel by train and want rail to challenge air for journeys under 300km.
Given its significant promise, travel agents are increasingly focused on including rail in the travel selling process.
We’ve kept a keen eye on developments here at Amadeus and June saw us release new Total Rail solutions in response to the rail industry’s current, and future, needs and demands.
Together our Agent Travel and Web Services Track solutions will help bring rail into booking platforms and more importantly give rail much needed visibility through new sales channels. The result is that we improve the way travel agents sell and book rail travel and provide travellers access to rail services through their favourite booking channel.
You can find more about these products at the press release announcing their launch.
The changes in Europe present a huge opportunity for rail to provide greater travel options and a genuine alternative to air travel – particularly during issues like the European ashcloud – and we’re excited to play our part helping our partners to tap into this potential.