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.
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)