Asia rail travel next for growth

Asia rail travel next for growth
By admin

Melbourne-based International Rail has said sales for its Japanese rail product are recovering after the catastrophes of 2011, while Europe remains its stand out performer.

Although the Japan tragedy saw sales “dry out” in the six months following events of March 11, director Jonathan Hume revealed the product had recovered to 60% of its pre-disaster levels.
“By the end of the year it will be back to normal,” he predicted.
The decline had been counterbalanced by strong growth from Europe, Hume added, with European revenue climbing 50% over the year, resulting in overall growth between 15 and 20%.
Italy is currently the firm’s most popular destination, accounting for half of its total revenue with Germany second after sales doubled in the last year.
“We’ve seen a surge in demand for German rail,” Hume said.
The majority of growth had come from retirees who had been “holding off” but were now deciding to travel. School groups were also on the rise, he added.
Hume anticipated that Europe was going to be “huge” this year with agents reporting “unprecedented enquiries”.
But he predicted the major trend over the next few years would be the emergence of Asian rail services, particularly in Thailand, Vietnam and China.
“People are starting to opt for rail rather than air in these places because they are trying to actually see some stuff,” he said.
He welcomed the trend due to the highly seasonal nature of rail travel in Europe, with the majority of travel taking place between March and September.
The broader spread would also act as a safety net in the event of another natural disaster, he added.

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