Travel agents are missing out on potential earnings by not taking advantage of the rail market, according to a report by Amadeus.
A study of the rail industry by the travel technology giant has identified a growth in demand for rail over the next seven years, from leisure and business travellers,
It has also noted significant improvements in the way rail tickets can be booked, ticketed and distributed, making it easier for agents to sell them.
"We know that historically it has been complex and time consuming to book rail and the lack of incentives have hindered the potential growth of rail bookings through travel agents," said Thomas Drexler, director of Amadeus Rail.
"However now that travel sellers are seeing an increased demand for rail, from both leisure and business travellers, and are noting an increased desire for air-rail comparison and combinations, it is time to embrace the opportunity available to them.
"New technologies and changing trends in ticketing and distribution are making it easier to search, compare and book rail travel in the indirect channel. '¨The market opportunity is clearly there for travel sellers, both in the UK and throughout Europe."
The Amadeus study, The Rail Journey to 2020, predicts that long-distance rail traffic in Europe will grow by 21% to over 1.36 billion passengers by 2012.
It says the growth will be driven by four key markets in particular, the UK, France, Switzerland and Germany.
by Bev Fearis
Monday, February 25, 2013