Rail Europe is reinforcing its promotion across ASEAN. The company is the official distributor of all major European train companies. It is based in Paris but has offices all across the world including an ASEAN representative office in Singapore, headed by Jualiana Gan, Area Representative.
‘Europe is popular for ASEAN travellers fuelled by the emergence of a local middle class as well as easier entry conditions into the European Union. We also see a certain maturity of many local travellers who look for flexibility in their trips. There is definitely a new ‘curiosity’ to venture to different places beside “classic” European destinations”, she says. Rail. Europe offers the possibility to take travellers to 15,000 destinations in the continent. In 2015, according to Rail Europe data, some 5.5 million travellers used Rail Europe for their train trips.
While for many years Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Benelux were the most visited countries, there is a recent shift. “We see the impact of terrorist acts in travel booking and we have been affected in some ways”, explains Mrs Gan. “We see a decline or a stagnation in sales for passes to France, Belgium and Germany”. However, we see a rise in pass booking for Central Europe, Spain and Scandinavian countries”, she adds.
Among ASEAN countries, Thailand is number one for Rail Europe products followed by Indonesia and Singapore. “Indonesia is currently the fastest growing country for our group. And for Thailand, Switzerland is the most sold destination by train”, tells Juliana Gan. Since 2011, Rail Europe has a dedicated B2B website for ASEAN agents.
Rail Europe is now looking to expand to new markets. “We just appointed our first GSA in Vietnam as well as for Myanmar. Both countries have enormous potential with the emergence of a middle class”, she explains.
Rail Europe offers in ASEAN the greatest selection of European rail products, from passes to “point to point” tickets, as well as reservations and travel packages. Passes are among the best selling products with Regional, National or Eurail Passes which can comprise up to four countries. Eurail Global Pass enables travellers to discover up to 28 different countries.