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BTN Interview: Rocky Mountaineer VP Hubert Wat

BTN Interview: Rocky Mountaineer VP Hubert Wat

Offering unique vacation packages over four spectacular rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta, Rocky Mountaineer has established itself as the largest privately owned passenger rail service in North America.

Here Breaking Travel News sits down with Rocky Mountaineer vice president for marketing, Hubert Wat, to discuss what the future holds.

Breaking Travel News: How would you describe the Rocky Mountaineer experience?

Hubert Wat: A breathtaking and unforgettable experience, the Rocky Mountaineer carries you in the lap of luxury across plunging gorges, over rugged mountain passes and into the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Guests can dine on freshly-prepared gourmet meals and enjoy award-winning wines in our GoldLeaf service, all while keeping a watchful eye for black bear, bald eagles and herds of elk. 

BTN: Which are your key markets?

HW: UK, Australia, USA and Canada are currently our main markets and we have recently ventured into Germany and India.

For many Rocky Mountaineer is the only way to explore Canada

BTN: You won ‘World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train’ at the World Travel Awards earlier this week. Why do you think you won in such a tough category?

HW: Rocky Mountaineer travels through some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth with the stars of the show being the Canadian Rocky Mountains, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home of the destination resort towns of Jasper and Banff, Alberta.

Add to that dramatic backdrop, friendly Canadian hospitality from our Onboard Attendants serving gourmet food and complimentary drinks in bi-level glass-domed coaches offering panoramic views from the upper-level and an intimate dining room below.

Many of our Guests tell us it was the best experience of their lives, so we are honoured by this award and feel it lives up to what guests tell us about the Rocky Mountaineer experience.

Four accomplished executive chefs use regional ingredients to delight the palate

BTN: If you had to choose one, which is your favourite of the four Rocky Mountaineer routes, and why?

HW: It is hard to pick just one route as they are all amazing and have their own highlights, but our most famous route is First Passage to the West. 

This is the most historic track in Canada as it united Canada east to west. Pass by the Last Spike and through the engineering marvel of the Spiral Tunnels.  The route also goes through world famous Banff, Alberta with its wild mountain beauty. 

It’s easy to love this route. 

BTN: How would you like the Rocky Mountaineer concept to evolve?

HW: We plan to continue to do what we do best - continue to exceed our guests’ expectations and offer the most memorable train journey in the world.

Our service and product are constantly evolving and as we find the things we do great, we continue to get even better for the following year.

Rocky Mountaineer travels through some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth

BTN: How is the downturn affecting you, and what are your strategies to deal with it?

HW: We don’t discount our product so we rely on positioning the benefits of Rocky Mountaineer. We are also investing more in marketing to raise awareness our brand.

We truly believe that when you have a great brand and a great product, people will always ask for it by name.

BTN: Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf won the award for World’s Leading Luxury Travel Product in the 2010 World Travel Awards. How would you describe the GoldLeaf experience?

HW: The luxury and comfort of Rocky Mountaineer’s GoldLeaf Service is simply beyond compare. Our bi-level GoldLeaf dome coaches are impressive.

Sitting up high in the upper-level you are surrounded by glass and feel at one with the beautiful landscapes you are passing through.

Guests are treated to an à la carte menu created by our four accomplished executive chefs, which use regional ingredients to delight the palate, comparable to any five-star restaurant. Guests can also catch some fresh mountain air and take photos of the dramatic scenery from the outdoor vestibule at the back of the coach.

The GoldLeaf experience is the ultimate way to travel through Western Canada and the Canadian Rocky Mountains.