After nearly six months of running its new all year round direct service between London and the South of France, stopping at Lyon, Avignon and Marseille, Eurostar reports that the route has proven to be a great success.
Since launch on May 1st this year, the service has carried over 110,000 passengers - exceeding expectations.
Attracted by the combination of culture and gastronomy, not to mention sun-drenched Provencal villages and the Mediterranean, travellers have greatly welcomed this new service.
Research conducted by Eurostar has revealed that passengers are particularly attracted by the ease and convenience of the city centre to city centre links that the service provides.
Of the 110,000 customers travelling to the South of France, over half are going to Lyon, 46 per cent going to Avignon and 60 per cent of those heading for Marseille, had never previously visited the cities.
Nearly a third of all passengers surveyed said that they had travelled to the South of France on Eurostar because they wanted to discover a new destination.
n addition to bringing thousands of new visitors to the region, the Eurostar service has had a visible impact on local tourism.
While all of the destinations attract a strong following during the summer months, the Eurostar service is also proving popular with travellers outside the traditional summer season.
With its proximity to the French Alps, Lyon provides a convenient gateway with easy road and rail connections to a range of popular ski resorts - whereas Marseille and Avignon are tempting visitors from the UK who are looking to banish the post-summer blues by heading south for a short break.
Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive, Eurostar, said: “Our new South of France route has really captured the imagination of travellers and the strong ticket sales are testament to the enduring appeal of the region which offers travellers the quintessential French experience.
“Passengers are drawn by the wide-ranging attractions of the region as well as the speed, ease and comfort of the journey.
“Given the huge demand we have seen in the first few months of service we will look forward to increasing numbers of passengers over the coming years.”