Rail Europe will be offering Japan Rail, VIA Rail and Amtrak later in 2024. Rail Europe will be offering Japan Rail, VIA Rail and Amtrak later in 2024.

Rail Europe to offer Japan, Canada, USA product

Rail Europe will be offering non-European product on its platform in the second half of this year, a move that general manager Asia and Pacific, Richard Leonard says strengthens the company’s value proposition for agents.

At the same time Rail Europe is increasing its profile in New Zealand, promising more regular visits by key account manager James Hooper and looking to launch a major trade incentive in a couple of months (details to come).

‘We want to show the New Zealand trade some love. James was over there a couple of weeks ago and will be back in May and probably July.

‘We’re hoping for continued growth out of New Zealand. It was a challenged market last year for various reasons but 2024 has started positively and we think we are seeing an evolution there.’

He says Rail Europe will be offering Japan Rail, VIA Rail and Amtrak later in 2024.

‘Our priority has been on all the must-haves in Europe and getting that plugged in. Now that’s happened we will add non-Europe content. It reinforces our proposition as a one-stop-shop for rail and it make us ‘stickier’ with the trade if they can come to us for all of their needs.

‘We’re also seeing demand for these products.’

He says figures for January and February this year out of New Zealand were ‘70% to 100%’ up on 2023.

‘There is still a long way to go compared to pre-pandemic, we’re about 50% of what we were in 2019, but we feel the headwinds have probably abated and we have positive momentum.’

Leonard says that while luxury travel and VFR were strong in the past couple of years, the uptake of pure holidays to Europe was slower for many people.

‘With increasing airline capacity and the (downward) pressure that puts on airfares, we see leisure back on the radar.

(More on Rail Europe page 7)

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