Rail is in the spotlight, attracting investment in the wake of pandemic-driven disruption in air travel and accelerating support for sustainable development across Europe. Meanwhile, travel companies, retailers, and foodservice operators are building value in high-traffic train stations. European rail offers a model of value creation within a sustainable commerce context, showcasing new opportunities for growth through integrated consumer experiences and sustainably-minded travel options.
This report comes in PPT.
Consumer travel dynamics have changed rapidly since the start of the pandemic. The seemingly limitless growth in airlines on short-haul travel routes have given way to rail as a renewed and increasingly attractive regional travel alternative, driven by new incentives, new investments and sustainably-minded consumers.
While still far from a tipping point, consumers are increasingly choosing more sustainable options when travelling. More than just consumer sentiment, however, rail is a target for both public sector investment that underpins net zero emissions ambitions, and private sector investment as train stations become predictable zones of commercial activity.
New trends in flexible working have impacted consumer patterns of movement dramatically. Consumers travelling less frequently travel more thoughtfully, choosing trains and public transport more regularly. Increased foot traffic has created new commercial opportunities in train stations.
With a higher percentage of direct bookings, rail companies enjoy greater consumer access and build deeper customer relationships, while rail-adjacent businesses are finding room to target consumers with convenient services throughout the journey.
European rail benefits now from both good timing - as political will and consumer demand merge in the wake of the pandemic - and right place - the infrastructure is well established. But, rail in other world regions is on the cusp of change. The Nordic markets, the US and China are particular standout markets given new consumer dynamics and in some cases, new funding for future-proof, sustainable transport options.
Travel encompasses several categories including tourism flows, lodging, travel modes, in-destination spending and booking.See All of Our Definitions
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