Euro rail travel improves
BANGKOK, 21 May 2012: Rail Europe, a European rail distributer adds two general sales agents in Thailand while it reported January to April sales improved 9%.
The two new Rail Europe GSAs are World Surprise that started trading last April and Real Time Solutions Thailand registered, but not due to start trading until next month. Other Rail Europe’s GSAs are: Diethelm Travel; GTA; GM Tour and Service and TV Air Booking.
Rail Europe representative Thailand, Jirapa Sukkham, told TTR Weekly that the company would possibly add another GSA by next year.
Last year, the Thai market performed well with sales up 27% during 2011 and this year that positive trend should continue in railway tickets sales, she reported.
From January to April, sales revenue grew 8.68% from 1,332,985 euro to 1,448,647 euro.
Thailand ranks fourth in ticket sales out of 17 markets in Asia (excludes Japan and Korea) following India, China and Hong Kong.
In the local market, Eurail is the most popular product because it covers a dense network in Europe; followed by Swiss Pass; France TGV, Eurostar and Thalys.
Rail Europe market assistant, Soraya By, who came to Bangkok to conduct a workshop with travel agents, last week, said sales in Thailand improved because of the growth of the FIT segment; appreciation of Euro to Thai baht and the ease of visa applications.
“The complication of visa application is still an issue that restricts travel to Europe, but the process is easing a little.”
The fact that the UK is not in the Schengen visa scheme curbs the sales of Eurostar between London and Paris. Visitors have to apply for two visas when adding the UK sector to their European visit. Belgium too is a problem as applying for individual visas is time consuming.
In addition, Rail Europe has launched Swiss Pass 2 for 1 promotion for travel during September to November. Other Summer Sale promotions also are on offer on its website and at travel agents.