European rail recovery fast approaching pre-pandemic levels, says Rail Europe

European rail recovery fast approaching pre-pandemic levels, says Rail Europe

Train travel across Europe is fast approaching pre-pandemic levels, according to Rail Europe, with Eurostar leading the way.

Rail Europe, Eurostar, Atout France and Visit Britain hosted an intimate event with around 30 advisors last night at Sydney’s Langham Hotel to share some exciting industry news and revealed that European train travel will be back at 2019 figures by 2023.

With Eurostar’s Australian sales figures currently sitting at 175 per cent above budget, Rail Europe’s GM for Asia & Pacific Richard Leonard said the correlation between increased airline capacity to Europe and the high-performing sales figures is a strong one.

Overall, Australian sales for European train travel are sitting at just over 140 per cent above budget, while global sales reached 60 per cent of the year’s target at the end of September when compared to the same time in 2019 – an impressive bounce back given Japan and China are still closed.

While 2023 is shaping up to be a strong year for Rail Europe, Leonard said the team’s priority is to continue assisting advisors, getting them up to speed with their advanced booking technology; and driving sales, adding that a series of exciting incentives and offers will begin to roll out in the new year.

Advisors were also reminded that the merger between Eurostar and Thalys, which formed The Eurostar Group back in May 2022, will result in increased ticket and route options.

With the aim to take 30 million passengers a year between Europe’s biggest cities by 2030, Tuesday-Ann Castle, Eurostar’s senior lead manager for international strategy & B2B partnerships pointed out that the combined network allows travellers to conveniently switch from car or plane to train.

“With the now four daily direct return services from Rotterdam and Amsterdam to the UK for example, travellers not only have greater flexibility but can enjoy an incredibly sustainable travel option that also saves time,” she said.

Castle noted that a passenger’s carbon footprint from one flight is roughly equivalent to 13 Eurostar journeys (based on 2019 CO2e emissions), which equates to almost two weeks of daily travel on the service.

In other updates, agents assisting sports fans with travel around the Rugby World Cup in France are advised to start planning ahead.

The sporting event will take place across the 10 host cities of Lille, Lyon, Saint-Étienne, Nice, Marseilles, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Paris and Saint-Denis from 8 September – 28 October 2023.

And over the in UK, agents should also note several milestones and events, including the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III on6 May 2023 and the 67th Eurovision Song Contest being hosted in Liverpool later that month.

Image: L-R: Amelia Robertson and Kirsten Angus, Visit Britain; James Hooper, Rail Europe; Tuesday-Ann Castle, Eurostar; and Clelie Collas, Atout France

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