According to Rail Europe, the world’s largest distributor rail passes and tickets, European cities and countries that have made it to the big screens continue to play a significant role in attracting travellers from Australia and New Zealand.
Manager Australasia of Rail Europe, Ingrid Kocijan, says there is no doubt that the upward trend in rail bookings to certain destinations is due to their direct involvement in major blockbuster movies or TV series.
“While film-induced tourism considerably influences our booking numbers, when combined with the increased accessibility and affordability to travel to Europe, numbers can skyrocket, “ says Ingrid. “This year, for example, we can report that countries including Spain, Austria and Switzerland, all of which have been involved in major motion pictures recently, enjoyed a healthy increase in the number of train travellers from Australia and New Zealand in the first half of 2016.
Year-on-year records show that Rail Europe bookings for Spain increased by 15% from Jan-May this year, while Austria bookings went up by just over 10%. The biggest increase, however, came from rail package bookings for Switzerland, which recorded close to 80% increase during the same period.
Austria provided a number of spectacular filming locations for Spectre, the 24th series of the long running Bond Franchise, while Switzerland was featured in the true story of British ski-jumper Eddie Edwards, Eddie the Eagle and the critically acclaimed UK mini series of The Night Manager.
Then there was the filming of the fifth and sixth season of American fantasy TV series, Game of Thrones, which took place in the southern region of Andalucía and Navarra in northern Spain. Part of the latest Bourne Franchise, Jason Bourne, was also filmed in Spain, specifically in Barcelona.
“Often, film tourism can help put lesser known destinations on the radar for travellers, while increasing visitor numbers to major urban hubs,” adds Ingrid. “For a continent like Europe, this works tremendously well for train travellers as the rail network is extremely wide, highly efficient, convenient and importantly for many travellers, cost effective.”
Australasia continues to deliver impressive sales numbers when compared to other more populous regions, dominating as one of Rail Europe’s top three regions for ticket sales globally.
Agents also are reminded that Rail Europe tickets are distributed by Rail Plus, Rail Tickets, CIT Holidays and Infinity Rail in Australia, and Rail Plus and Go Holidays in New Zealand. Terms and conditions apply.