Expedia to offer rail travel to UK customers in response to growing demand
Posted: 20 July 2016 | Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Global Railway Review | 1 comment
Online travel company Expedia Group has revealed it will be offering rail travel to UK customers from October 2016. The move is supported by the Rail Delivery Group.
In partnership with SilverRail and supported by the Association of Train Operating Companies and the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Expedia customers will soon be able to purchase rail travel throughout Britain alongside travel options already on offer.
“Rail presents an extraordinary opportunity for the business in attracting new customers, growing the frequency of site visits, and offering a new transportation option with existing travel purchases. Adding rail will allow travellers to create new types of package holidays, such as combining train travel with a hotel stay, a car hire, or other things to do at their destination,” said Greg Schulze, senior vice president, Commercial Strategy and Services at the Expedia group. “We’ve learned quickly that adding rail to our business is not as easy as copy-pasting our existing booking models. Rail is a unique platform and our partners have been great in ensuring a seamless entrance into the market and delivering high customer value as well.”
“We want to benefit rail operators and their customers while expanding access to the railway”
Kathryn Cooper-Fay, RDG Head of Customer Journey, said, “We want to benefit rail operators and their customers while expanding access to the railway, and offering National Rail products on Expedia through its partnership with SilverRail does just that. We’re pleased to support such a strong partnership and we know that Expedia will work diligently to deliver the level of service our customers expect of rail travel retailers.”
Rail travel is a $130 billion market opportunity
According to Phocuswright 2016 data, rail is a $130 billion market opportunity.The global research company also notes rail as the fastest growing sector in travel, thanks in part to recent growth from private and government investment, technology advancements, and convenient access and destinations for travellers.
UK rail travellers will be able to book on the Expedia.co.uk site from October 2016. The company plans to expand to other countries and rail providers in the future.