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Rail Europe has kicked off 2024 with the launch of its Only Europe. Only by Train campaign featuring a new detailed map and a series of competitions to win dream train journeys across Europe.

Speaking to Travel Talk, Rich Leonard the General Manager of Asia Pacific for Rail Europe said globally the company is back to 98% of 2019 business levels. 

“We moved to a new booking system so we had to make sure agents have been engaged and across the new system. There’s 30% less agents in the industry now so there’s a lot of new people who we wanted to spend time with and engage and support as they were going through a very stressful time,” Leonard said. 

Florence Pasquier, Rail Europe’s Chief Commercial Officer who is visiting from France also spoke to Travel Talk about the year ahead, and was full of hearty praise for agents. 

“What we have built in this part of the world is paying back. We have local people on the ground, it’s like our secret weapon. We will have more famil’s in 2024 as part of a concerted effort to reward agents as they’re the ones that literally sell our products,” Pasquier said. 

Rich Leonard (GM of APAC), Florence Pasquier (CCO) and Grant Robertson (Key Acct Mgr).

Aimed at further promoting sustainable travel by bringing more travellers to the rails when exploring Europe, advisors will be able to use and share the brand new downloadable map to help their clients plan itineraries, be time and cost efficient, and ultimately ensure suitably comfortable and scenic journeys throughout their holiday.

To further assist advisors with the Rail Europe booking platform, weekly updates and tips will also be shared. From short “how to” videos to hacks for the platform’s functionalities and solutions such as the Multi-Providers feature, the bite-sized nuggets of advice will not only complement Rail Europe’s help-desk, but also encourage advisors to connect and share their own tips with each other.

Finally, from mid-March, advisors will have the opportunity to submit their dream rail journey for a chance to win and embark on that very journey.

In addition to first class passes, winners will also be provided with financial assistance from Rail Europe for airfares and ground arrangements.

With more than 200 rail providers available on the platform, Rail Europe continues to heavily invest in advanced technology to not only market the various carriers, but also keep bookings simple, convenient and scalable for their users and partners.

Over the next few years, advisors can expect more AI being integrated into the platform to help improve customer service and provide even more intuitive and automative functionalities, thereby enhancing the overall experience.

In terms of travel trends, Rail Europe’s booking records show a significant shift in passenger demands, particularly in the revival of night trains across the continent and experiential, journeys (especially for the scenery, city-to-city convenience, and sustainability aspects).

There has also been an increase in demand for higher quality of on-board services, comfort and convenience.

Data collected also showed cross-border travel is on the rise at +20% compared to 2019. Globally, Rail Europe enjoyed a recovery of 75% in sales in 2023 compared to 2019 (and +60% growth from 2022) with Australia reaching 78% recovery on B2B.

Advisors who haven’t done so are encouraged to get their login to the Easy Rail Access booking tool, and sign up to Rail Europe’s monthly webinars and closed Facebook group to enable seamless commission payments and gain access to exclusive incentives and offers.