Are you currently selling train holidays? If it’s not already on your radar, it probably should be! Travel agents who sell rail agree that it is a lucrative and growing segment, and that adding a rail component to an itinerary is an excellent way to differentiate your travel design skills and to present clients with something new and different.
For most people, long gone are the days when air travel could be considered a pleasure. Even when everything works as it should, for most of us hanging around airports is far from fun. And yet taking a holiday by train, typically isn’t top of mind for many travel agents, nor their customers, when planning a trip.
Rail travel for a convenient holiday experience
It is no wonder when you consider there are a multitude of different rail passes available, hundreds of train operators and countless different fare levels.
However, just like an inclusive air holiday, rail travel can be packaged together with hotels, sightseeing and tours to create a convenient holiday experience. But unlike air travel, the journey becomes an important and enjoyable part of that experience.
“The trend for travellers is to seek out authentic experiences through experiential travel, and taking the train is seen as a must-do, bucket list experience,” said Peter Traynor, Managing Director of rail holiday provider Railbookers.
Demystifying rail travel
Railbookers works with travel agents to help them demystify rail travel for their clients. The London-based company uses their considerable insider knowledge and contacts to pass on to travel agents special rates and availability that are not accessible to the general public.
You can book your client’s entire holiday in Europe, North America and beyond up to 18 months in advance with higher commissions and less fees because everything is handled by the one rail provider.
Inclusive and tailor-made
Examples of Railbookers holidays include: a week long journey through the natural wonders of Switzerland by iconic train; the nostalgic appeal and glamour of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express; and experiencing the unsurpassed beauty of the Canadian Rockies as the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer train travels through the wilds of Canada.
The company offers both inclusive packages and a tailor-made service. “Train travel is really whatever you want it to be, whether it be city to city, pre or post cruise, a multi- or cross-country journey, or a scenic overnight experience. Railbookers is a one-stop shop for agents wishing to book rail for their clients no matter what type of train holiday they’re looking for, and what type of traveller they are,” notes Traynor.
Whilst rail travel is increasingly appealing to all demographics, retirees and empty nesters are amongst the biggest clients for a rail holiday, with the disposable income, freedom and flexibility to take this type of break. Notes Traynor, “empty nesters are also bringing their friends and family along, increasing agent’s opportunities for commissions and new clients.”
Traynor suggests that agents also target past cruisers, as studies have shown that past river and ocean cruisers find the idea of a rail journey appealing. And in line with multi-modal travel trends, customers can take a pre or post river cruise rail excursion with Railbookers, taking to the tracks for a train journey to complement the cruising portion of their holiday.
Become an expert
Despite the obvious appeal of rail travel, agents often hesitate because of the perception that rail is difficult to understand and complicated to book. With that in mind, Railbookers has created a free online training course where you can learn to navigate the world of rail holidays and attract new business. Sign-up for the course now: railtravelexperts.com