Outbound Travel

Rail Europe expects India revenues to grow 15-20%

MUMBAI

Rail Europe (RE) 4A expects revenues from India to grow 15-20 % over the next five years, riding on growing demand for international travel, said the head of its local unit. The company is a joint venture between the national rail companies of France (SNCF) and Switzerland (SBB) and sells tickets in the Asia-Pacific region, southern America and the Middle East.

It has commercial links to all rail operators including SNCF, Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn, Elipsos, Artesia and Thalys. Its cheapest offering is a 30 pass for three days of rail travel in Spain. SNCF and SBB also co-own Rail Europe for selling rail tickets in the US, Canada and Mexico and, Voyage SNCF for selling tickets in the UK and Continental Europe. 

India last year contributed 10% (20 million) to RE 4A’s global revenue . This compared to 45 million from its biggest market Australia. “In good times we used to grow at 22-25 %. We have always grown even when demand for travel was low,” Kunal Kothari, executive director of RE 4A India told ET.”Europe is a dream destination for most Indians. I don’t think we will see a drop in passengers. Every year 80% of our travellers constitute fresh ones while the rest are repeat travellers,” he said. 
“I have always found it easier to sell rail travel to Indians since the country is familiar with rail travel . But we sometimes have to explain the difference between what we are offering and Indian railways …telling customers that rail connectivity in Europe is not the same as here,” he said. 
Read the full report here, Economic Times

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