Rail Expert from Oc­to­ber 1

The Rail Expert pro­gramme that has been in the mak­ing for some time now will fi­nally go live from Oc­to­ber 1, 2018. Ku­nal Kothari, Re­gional Man­ager—South Asia, Rail Europe (RE), shares more de­tails.

TravTalk - India - - INTERVIEW - TT Bureau

Q Tell us about the new Expert Pro­gramme that RE is look­ing to launch?

The Rail Expert pro­gramme has been on our radar for some years now. It’s just that we didn’t man­age to get it off the block for one rea­son or another. Maybe we just had too am­bi­tious ideas around it – not only make it good and at­trac­tive, but also en­sure we got par­tic­i­pa­tion from al­most ev­ery cor­ner of the coun­try. al­most all the boxes ticked.

Q Will this be an In­dia spe­cific pro­gramme?

Yes and no. The quizzes will be on our global plat­form where other markets too are run­ning their Expert Pro­grammes. How­ever, each mar­ket has its own set of ques­tions, rail­ways part­ner­ing, etc, so the one in In­dia - dia. The du­ra­tion, the pe­riod, the prizes, the for­mat, etc is also unique to each mar­ket. So while the pro­gramme will hosted on our global plat­form and the con­cept has been tried and tested by other markets.

Q How can your trade part­ners ben­e­fit from this?

The pro­gramme goes live from Oc­to­ber 1, 2018. Given de­cided to keep it short so 2018. Dur­ing this pe­riod, par­tic­i­pants have to com­plete eight mod­ules of 10 ques­tions each. Of course, there will be study ma­te­rial to re­fer to and an­swers will only be found in the study ma­te­rial! Then of course, there is a min­i­mum a lucky draw for win­ning the prizes. We will keep the same for­mat for get­ting our win­ners for the Fam trip who get an all-ex­penses paid trip to Europe.

In Oc­to­ber, we will launch the ‘Quiz Only’ Rail Expert pro­gramme for agents across In­dia. It has been a chal­leng­ing year but agents have been very sup­port­ive. In ad­di­tion, we also plan to do some on-lo­ca­tion train­ings in some Tier-II and III cities

Q What are the trade en­gage­ment de­tails for the rest of 2018?

Our suc­cess­ful cam­paign in part­ner­ship with Swiss Travel Sys­tem and Switzer­land Tourism – The Swiss Travel Pass Su­per­Star – is al­ready in its sixth sea­son and our win­ners for the Fam will be an­nounced by mid-Septem­ber. In Oc­to­ber, we will launch the ‘Quiz Only’ Rail Expert pro­gramme for agents across In­dia. It has been a chal­leng­ing year but agents have been very sup­port­ive.

So de­spite the chal­lenges, we de­cided to launch our Rail Expert pro­gramme that has been re­quested for few years. In ad­di­tion, we plan to do some on-lo­ca­tion train­ings in some Tier-II and III cities. plans and will roll out the an­nounce­ments soon. The travel agents have been kind, mak­ing one of our learn­ing pro­grammes quite a suc­cess which re­sulted in it go­ing global. We are sure, with only quiz to an­swer over a very short pe­riod, the par­tic­ipa pro­gramme will be equally good if not bet­ter.

Q What is the kind of growth that you have seen from the In­dia mar­ket?

The big­gest growth of course was in 2015 with over 34 per cent growth and de­spite global events that slowed down the travel in­dus­try in 2016, we man­aged to be slightly bet­ter than the rest of the world as well as 2015. Then again in 2017 we set new high of to­tal sales from this mar­ket with 15 per cent growth. Our pas­sen­ger num­bers grew by over 37 per cent in 2015 (over 2014) and by over 10 per cent in 2017 (over 2016). We ended 2017 at € 25M with al­most 3.2L pas­sen­gers.

Ku­nal Kothari Re­gional Man­ager—South Asia, Rail Europe (RE)

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