Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

Eurail Pass sales challenged by economic downturn

Written by editor

The Eurail Group G.I.E. has reported a modest drop in Eurail Pass passengers triggered by the global economic downturn, but expects a full recovery in the coming years.

The Eurail Group G.I.E. has reported a modest drop in Eurail Pass passengers triggered by the global economic downturn, but expects a full recovery in the coming years. With a total of just over 433,000 customers, passenger numbers in 2008 were down by 7.5 percent in comparison to 2007.

“We are not experiencing an unwillingness to travel, rather a decline in travel due to people having to prioritize their budgets. For many, holidays abroad need to be put on hold. Once the market picks up, we expect sales to grow again,” explained Ana Dias e Seixas, the Eurail Group’s marketing director.

“The Eurail Group and its authorized general sales agents foresee that passenger numbers will continue to fall in the immediate future. Subsequently, we’re concentrating on offering additional customer benefits to make the product more attractive, so we’re ready when the travel market recovers and people start taking trips abroad again. We expect a modest performance in 2009, but everything depends on the evolving economic situation.”

North America is the biggest market (50 percent of the market share), followed by the Asia-Pacific region (38 percent), which explains the challenging times Eurail Passes currently face. Signs of the weakening world economy are especially prevalent in the United States, as well as in South Korea. However, several of the key markets are still showing considerable growth. Sales from Japan, Australia, and Canada were up by between 4 and 8 percent. A special global promotion launched during the fourth quarter of 2008 helped generate additional sales.

While most customers (around 57 percent) still wish to discover as much of Europe as possible, opting for a pass covering 3 to 5 connecting countries, or the classic Eurail Global Pass, which covers 21 countries, it’s clear that times are changing. Launched in 2006, the relatively new Eurail One Country Pass range has become an important product line for Eurail with market trends favoring shorter trips to fewer destinations. Sales of this product are up by 14 percent.

Traditional western European destinations such as France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and the Benelux region remain favorites for visitors – however, there is also an increased interest in discovering Eastern Europe. Consequently, the Czech Republic was introduced in the Global and Select Pass schemes this year, and Bulgaria became a One Country Pass member.