Australia snubbed, says rail chief

Australia snubbed, says rail chief
By admin

German rail firm Deutsche Bahn has highlighted its main challenge in Australia as a lack of awareness of the value that rail travel can offer.

President Alan Wissenberg, on his first visit down under, stressed the issue is heightened in Australia as the local market is “extremely developed” and therefore increasingly overlooked by European rail networks in favour of emerging markets in Asia and South America.
“All the rest of the railroads in Europe have let awareness levels in Australia suffer,” Wissenberg said. “This market deserves a better deal than that – it should not be disregarded.”
He stressed the importance of the trade in helping travellers find the best fares tailored to their needs, giving agents the edge over direct online bookings.
“With the Internet, it’s very easy to click your way into poverty,” he said.
But he underlined the need to educate agents to ensure that customers came away satisfied.
Meanwhile, Wissenberg claimed 100% growth from the Australian market in 2010/11 and anticipated similar improvement this year on the back of its relationship with Melbourne-based International Rail.
He also credited Middle Eastern carriers with making Europe more accessible and more “attractive”.
The firm will introduce a German Rail Pass extension from April, providing connections to surrounding rail services in central Europe. The move is designed to increase its value proposition while broadening its appeal to long-haul markets interested in visiting the region rather than a specific country.

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