Non rail grows to $1m for Rail Plus

Non rail grows to $1m for Rail Plus
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Non rail product is becoming increasingly lucrative for Rail Plus and is set to generate more than $1 million in sales this year, the firm has revealed.

Revenue has climbed 25% in 2012 following a 15% rise in 2011, national sales and marketing manager Greg McCallum told Travel Today.

It will see total revenue from ancillary product, which includes theatre and attraction tickets, travel passes and day tours, soar from $750,000 to more than $1m, he said.

While still only a fraction of the amount generated from its core rail product, McCallum said it is becoming a welcome and growing source of incremental business.

He predicted agents will make approximately 15,000 bookings of Rail Plus add-on products this year with an average transaction value of $65.

“Around 20% of all add-on products we sell are stand alone bookings. That is, they are booked totally separately from rail,” McCallum said.

“It’s still small compared to our rail business but it is growing both in terms of revenue and importance for us. We have stepped up our marketing to the trade and I would expect to see minimum growth next year of 25%.”

Virtually all ancillary bookings are for London and Paris, with 65% for the UK and 35% for the French capital.

McCallum said the vast majority of agents have adopted Rail Plus’ web technology with 90% of bookings now made online. That familiarity has sparked the growth of add-on sales which are all bookable through the same system.

“That is key,” McCallum said. “Agents know our technology well. We have also removed booking fees which makes it more attractive for agents and consumers. Retailers aren’t going to make an enormous amount of money from $65 transactions but it’s about adding value for customers. Pre-booking the London Eye or Oyster Cards (for the London Underground) can also save a lot of queuing and gives peace of mind to travellers.”

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