Singapore - FIT Ruums, Webjet Group's B2B travel distributor in Asia, has formed an exciting new partnership that will enable the region's travel trade to book rail travel all across Europe.
The agreement between FIT Ruums and Rail Europe will initially allow travel agents in South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan to book train tickets and rail passes with 35 rail networks all across Europe.
In the second phase of the partnership, Rail Europe's products will be made available to FIT Ruums' trade partners in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, China and India.
This expansion strategy has been devised in line with Asia's key source markets, which are India, China, Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
Traveling by train is often the best to see Europe. With its diverse geography and spectacular scenery - much of which is only accessible by train - rail travel is a convenient and rewarding way of exploring the continent.
Rail Europe works with Europe's largest rail companies, including France's SNCF, Germany's Deutsche Bahn, Italy's Trenitalia, the UK's Virgin Trains, and the cross-channel Eurostar. It offers single and return journey tickets, plus national and regional rail passes on a wide range of rail services, including sleeper trains, high-speed railways and scenic routes.
Booking in advance is highly recommended. European rail operators regularly offer discounts for tickets purchased weeks or months before the departure date, and booking in advance is usually significantly cheaper than buying tickets at the station. In addition, booking a rail pass gives travelers the flexibility to go wherever their hearts desire, with unlimited travel during the validity period of the pass. This means that travelers can go anywhere, at any time, on a schedule that suits them.
Asian demand for European rail travel is booming. The number of Asians travelling on European trains reached 1.05 million in the first five months of 2017, 9,6% more than same period last year.
The most popular destinations for Asian rail travelers in Europe are (in order) Switzerland, the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany.
Reflecting its position as the top European rail destination for Asian tourists, Switzerland Tourism revealed that it is actively targeting Asian travelers as a means of enhancing the country's overall tourism industry.
"With its snow-capped mountains and lush green valleys, Switzerland is a magical destination for rail travel. Scenic services like the Bernina Express - the highest railway across the Alps - and the spectacular Glacier Express, are not only means of transport but also attractions in their own right," said Ivan Breiter, Director South East Asia of Switzerland Tourism.
"We are already seeing a sharp rise in the number of Asian visitors traveling on our trains, so we welcome this new collaboration between FIT Ruums and Rail Europe. I am confident it will lead to many more Asian travelers experiencing the beauty of Switzerland by rail in future," Ivan added.
Daryl Lee, Director of FIT Ruums' parent company, WebBeds FZ, said he was delighted to have expanded FIT Ruums' content into the rapidly-growing rail sector.
"With modern trains and extensive national and cross-border networks, Europe's railways are a great way of exploring the continent. With more and more Asian travellers discovering the joy of European rail travel, this is a great time to be partnering with Rail Europe," Mr Lee said.
"I look forward to working with Rail Europe and establishing a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. As Asian demand for European travel continues to surge, FIT Ruums is ready to become a key strategic partner for Rail Europe in this all-important market," he added.
FIT Ruums offers a comprehensive array of travel services to the Asian travel trade, including hotel rooms, attractions, activities and ground transportation. In line with the company's motto, "Always Stronger Together", FIT Ruums is aiming to become a one-stop shop for both suppliers and clients. The partnership with Rail Europe is another step towards achieving that goal.