BLOG – SUSTAINABLE RAIL TOURISM, THE OPPORTUNITY IT PRESENTS, AND THE TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED TO SEIZE IT
Our planet’s average surface temperature has risen by 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, carbon dioxide levels are soaring uncontrollably and ice sheets are melting at an alarming rate (NASA). The situation we now face has convinced 11,000 scientists to warn of “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” (Guardian). Both on an individual and corporate level, it’s clear that strides to save our planet have been made but that what we are currently doing is nowhere near enough to reverse our impending fate.
Whilst many corporations will decline economically as they make sacrifices to protect our planet, others will be presented with opportunities to prosper. For example, the global aviation industry produces a very significant 2% of human-induced carbon emissions. Cutting back on air travel – especially over short distances – is a step that we must take but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will go on fewer holidays. There is a buzz of opportunity in the rail industry as the green credentials it presents become realised. ‘With just 2% of international tourism using rail networks, there is significant growth potential for railways, especially as UNWTO forecasts an increase of 3.3% of international tourist arrivals year-on-year. This would equate to an estimated 1.8 billion tourists travelling the world in 2030’ (Railway Technology). To both help save our planet and capitalise on the business opportunity in front of them, rail operators will need the right technology in place to adapt and succeed in the lucrative leisure market.
Whilst major matters such as strategy, mobility, supplier and partner relationships need to be ironed out first, none of it can be executed without the reservation and booking technology. There are three major areas of functionality that this technology should provide:
A suitable rail booking platform for any operator looking at expanding into rail tourism will provide the functionality to sell rail combined with other travel components such as accommodation, excursions and car rental.
Technology like Open Destinations’ Travel Studio offers customers dynamic pricing functionality. This is the ability to match pricing to demands very quickly to increase ticket sales revenues and it can be set up with pre-defined rules or performed manually.
To succeed in the leisure rail market takes a different level of customer relationship compared to commuter rail where travel is often a necessity and a means to an end. Our Travel Studio reservations system combines specialist rail functionality and a CRM built for travel providers.
If your rail operator business wants to capitalise on the growth opportunity presented by sustainable rail tourism, we’d love to help you. Please contact us using the details below.
Tel: +44 (0) 207 553 9220
Email: [email protected]
Open Destinations’ rail customers include Great Southern Rail, Rovos Rail, Queensland Rail Travel, Peru Rail, Alaska Railroad and Belmond.