New market research confirms that travelers still appreciate the journey as much as the destination when it comes to the ease, flexibility, and value offered by the Eurail Pass.
For over a half century, the Eurail Pass has allowed millions of budget savvy explorers (451,227 in 2011 alone) the opportunity to experience a wide sampling of the continent’s finest capitals and cultures, villages and villas via its extensive rail network. And, according to a new study conducted by market research leader Infosurv.com, more than 70% of Eurail Pass customers surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied by their rail experiences and are likely to recommend the affordable and flexible travel offering to others.
Although today’s no-frills flights can sometimes be quicker, the data implies that passengers may prefer the comfortable environment and hassle free experience that a train journey can offer. Findings indicate that train travel is one of the most commonly identified methods of transport within Europe (63%) and is almost reaching the same level of recognition as air travel (66%).
Commissioned by Eurail Group GIE Marketing in North America and Australia to further understand rail travel trends and perceptions among non-Europeans, the qualitative and quantitative research collected critical market knowledge regarding awareness, usage, and attitudes towards the Eurail Pass and the most desirable aspects of European tourism overall.
The study reveals that the continent’s rich history and architectural gems appealed to 80% of respondents, the diverse cuisine to 51%, arts and culture to 48%, and the European landscape to 44%. “Eurail’s success can be attributed to the fact that a single Eurail Pass trip makes it possible to experience all of the latter in multiple European countries in just one trip,” said Ana Dias e Seixas, Eurail Group’s Marketing Director.
The majority of respondents traveled with family (78%) and friends (44%), strengthening the message that Eurail Pass (and rail) travel appeals to all ages and demographics.
Passes for fewer countries are becoming increasingly appealing with 38% of respondents visiting only one to two European countries and 37% between three and four. Poll participants ranked France (51%), Italy (37%) and Germany (37%) as the most popular Eurail Pass destinations (the UK represented 48% in the poll, however, this country does not currently participate in the Eurail Pass offer).
Online Sales Agents are especially instrumental in booking travel packages with over 67% of respondents buying tickets online. Furthermore 70% of respondents purchased their pass one to six months in advance, suggesting that pass holders take plenty of time to plan their intended itineraries to get the most out of their dream European vacation.
“We are delighted the research suggests that the popularity of European rail travel is steadily increasing, which gives the Eurail Group even more incentive and enthusiasm to maintain strong Eurail Pass product awareness throughout the global market. After all, the Eurail Pass is still the best way to see Europe,” concludes Dias e Seixas.