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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Global travel technology provider Amadeus has unveiled strategic partnerships and a standard distribution system as key issues facing the rail industry today.
At the company”s first ever Rail Forum, held recently in Nice, more than 60 rail, air and travel agency experts met to discuss the central concerns and future needs of the European rail industry.
Among the topics discussed was impending deregulation and liberalisation of the market by 2010, which according to KLM director of alliances, Eric Stokhuyzen, will mean a greater need for strategic partnerships between companies in the travel industry.
Such alliances would take advantage of the rapidly expanding high-speed network, set to grow by 10,000km (6,214mi) by the year 2020. KLM has thus partnered with HAS, the company that operates links between Belgium and the Netherlands, in order to stagger their schedules with times that complement one another”s services and provide streamlined booking with a single ticket for complete journeys.
The importance of more effective distribution for rail services was highlighted by ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies) head of distribution, Steve Fosh.
Fosh noted that UK travel management companies (TMCs) generate more than £400m ($809m) each year through train bookings and with the industry growing at an average rate of 3%-5%, distributors will need to improve internet capacity, electronic payment methods and automation to take full advantage in the future.
Amadeus vice-president multinational customer group, Gillian Gibson, reinforced the fact that TMCs are not maximising their potential for rail bookings, as many use numerous platforms or websites ” often a different one for each provider ” which complicates the process. What is needed, Gibson suggested, is a single, comprehensive booking tool.
”We feel that the first Amadeus Rail Forum has been a great success,” said managing director travel services and leisure, Albert Pozo. ”Holding an event such as this facilitates open discussions about the future of the industry and the challenges that are faced.
”This enables us to better understand our customers and the rail industry in particular, so that we can provide the solutions that enable the success in the growing European rail market.”