With more than 300,000 travellers using Eurail Passes each year to see Europe, Eurail has reported that Oceania make up 11.5% of the market, with Australia dominating at 10.3%.
Amongst the top ten countries travelled by Aussie travellers are Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic and Denmark
Overall, while the four-country Select Pass has proven to be the most popular selection among travellers currently, this is closely followed by the Global Pass, which covers 28 countries across the continent.
According to Eurail, the typical Eurail Pass traveller is a non-European citizen who has very little experience with train travel, largely a non-solo traveller above 26 years of age who enjoys first class travel and a visitor of major European capitals. Also the local experience and flexibility offered by rail services play a large part in their travels. This is also fostered by a multitude of benefits that come along with the Pass, including discounts on hotels, tours and further transportation services such as and ferries and buses.
Agents are reminded of the four different types of passes available for their clients. They include the Eurail Global Pass (covers 28 countries with validities of five travel days within 10 days; 10 / 15 travel days within two months; and 15-21 continuous travel days within 1-3 months); the Eurail Select Pass (covers four adjoining countries with validities of 5,6,8 or 10 days within two months; the Eurail Select Two Country Pass (with validities of 4,5,6,8 or 10 travel days within a month); and the Eurail One Country Pass(validities include 3,4,5 and 8 travel days within a month and six trips for the Attica Pass). All Passes come are available in 1st or 2nd class.
While the Eurail Global Pass is valid in all 28 countries and offers access to 250,000 km of interconnected rail network, agents unfamiliar with the Pass should note that the whole portfolio is designed to cater for all sorts of travel plans and offers specific passes for travel in only a few countries. The one, two or four-country options allow for small and big itineraries, offering different options starting from three travel days up to three months of continuous travel.
With a history of 56 years, the Eurail Pass became a symbol of European unification after WW11 and rapidly, it became synonymous with rail travel in Europe. From paper maps and tickets back in the day, smartphone apps today make it easy for travellers to freely access information including rail schedules even when offline. To date, the Railplanner App has enjoyed over 1 million downloads and continue to be used by travellers from around the world.
With 2015 ending soon, a look-back in the year shows five major enhancements to the Eurail portfolio. They include the one country pass to the Greek Islands; 1st class travel option for youth travellers; the introduction of free travel for up to two children under the age of 12 per adult guardian; the addition of four countries to the Pass (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Poland and Croatia); and the introduction of a shorter validity for the Global Pass (five travel days within 10 days).
Moving onto 2016, more enhancements that will better cater to travellers’ needs and planning are underway. These will be announced in due course.
Agents are reminded that Rail Europe tickets are distributed by Rail Plus, Rail Tickets, CIT Holidays and Infinity Rail in Australia.