Riding on the wave of Indian outbound to Europe, Eurail has in turn recorded huge numbers. It has in fact categorised India under ‘priority’ markets this year that will see an uptick in budgets.
Earning the position of being Asia’s third-biggest market for Eurail after South Korea and China, India has chugged its way into the ‘key’ market category for the rail pass company. To underline how important this market has become to them, Yi Ding, Market Manager Asia, Eurail, was visiting Mumbai from Utrecht recently.
She elaborates on this exciting growth and says, “In 2015, we saw that India had the highest growth rate globally for us – it was 50 per cent over the previous year. It continued to grow in 2016 by almost four per cent. In short, India was the best performing market for us the last two years.” She expects about eight to nine per cent growth in 2017 year-on-year because of the growing outbound to Europe. Much of this growth could be attributed to Eurail’s Family Discount of free travel for children under 12 it had introduced in 2014. This alone led the children’s share to double by 2015. In 2016, the market share of children was seven to eight per cent already — highest among all its markets. Trends for train travel Identifying a travel trend on which Eurail can also reap benefits, Ding adds, “We have seen that Indian travellers have now started to travel to other destinations by train instead of only visiting Switzerland. This is more so in regions where Bollywood movies have been shot such as Bruges (PK), Amsterdam (Queen) and even Spain.”
So in 2016, after doing a lot of internal investigations, Eurail priotised India as a ‘key’ market and it will become one of the markets to invest in from 2017. This also means an increase in budget for India. “As a result, our top three Asian markets — South Korea, China and India — will get almost 80 per cent of our total global budget. So you can see how important India is to us now,” she reveals. In this visit to India, she met Swisstours, Thomas Cook, Cox & Kings, Amigo Travels, TUI, and Ottila.
Top 5 RE products for India in 2017
– Swiss Travel Pass
– Eurail One Country Pass
– TGV Lyria (Switzerland-Paris)
– Eurail Italy-Switzerland Pass