Midweek Interview

Midweek Catch-up with Rail Online’s James Dunne

This week, we were SO delighted to interview Rail Online’s CEO, and not just because of his adorable dog. Ok, we admit it, it was 100 per cent because of the dog.

What’s your main goal for this year?

To help the travel industry get back on its feet.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the travel industry?

The people. Plenty of people are passionate about their work, but travel people take it to another level – they just can’t imagine doing anything else – it’s part of who we are.

It’s one of the reasons I’m confident our industry is going to bounce back so strongly, once we are all free of COVID’s fetters.

How do you like to spend your free time?

On the golf course, walking my very energetic Cocker Spaniel Archie, and tennis with friends.

Have you managed to do any travelling since restrictions began to ease (domestic or international)?

Only domestically to Melbourne, but I’ve got a few more trips planned for this year to Europe and the US as we spread the word about Rail Online and expand our footprint internationally.

What’s your favourite travel company, besides the one you work for?

Belmond. A timeless product that still gives us a sense of the Golden Age of rail travel.

If you could invite three famous guests (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would you choose?

Bruce Lee, Freddie Mercury, and Annie Lennox. A perfect mix of speed, talent and grace!

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the global pandemic hit?

People’s adaptability. I’ve also been humbled by the level of encouragement and support I’ve received over the past two years as I’ve worked to bring my dream for Rail Online to reality.

Not one person told me I was crazy to try and launch a travel start-up in the middle of a pandemic that shut down international travel – although I’m sure a few thought it!

What’s your advice for others in the travel industry on coping with the global pandemic?

If there is one thing creating Rail Online has taught me it’s ‘hang in there’. The pandemic is temporary. Your skills and knowledge last a lifetime.

What book and/or TV show can you not get enough of lately?

The Razors Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. Such an extraordinary character and the opening passage to Chapter 6 is epic.

Do you have any travel goals for 2022?

To get back to the Scottish Highlands.



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