Amadeus has identified five make-or-break factors which have the potential to shift the future prospects for rail in Asia-Pacific.
1. Capturing customers old and new
Rail operators are jostling for the attention of travellers in an increasingly competitive landscape filled with more transport options than ever before. Marketing and merchandising need to become a priority when it comes to engaging and familiarising travellers with the services and conveniences of rail. Ticketing should also extend beyond existing closed channels and be more accessible to travellers across various platforms and devices.
2. Make timetables, booking and data universally available
The biggest barrier for travellers choosing rail is the difficulty to access and understand rail timetables and booking information. In view of the strong movement towards self-managed travel, travellers should have the option to book their flight, hotel and train ticket—at the same time, from the same platform. The integration of rail content in GDSsis a crucial step to making this a reality. Rail operators need to take a customer-centric approach and start collaborating towards a true and unique multi-channel, multi-modal and multi-country offering.
3. Mobile is a must
Asia-Pacific is arguably the most tech-savvy region, with an estimated four billion mobile connections region wide. Not having an intuitive mobile platform is a sure way to lose the traveller, no matter how great the onboard service might be. As such, rail operators should look into offering mobile-optimised booking sites and applications to engage increasingly mobile travellers.
4. Complement, cooperate and compete
As the travel market grows and diversifies, there is huge potential for rail operators to innovate and deliver a more personalised travel service—bringing a door-to-door experience to today’s increasingly demanding travellers. This requires collaboration between industry players to enable a seamless travel experience and make booking a flight, hotel and train all together a simple process.
5. Make payment easy
The next generation of travellers will demand even more conveniences throughout their journey. As such, rail operators need to stay ahead, and one of the ways is by automating payment. The success of embedded payments in ride-hailing and accommodation services has proven that automated payment is increasingly becoming a necessity, especially for more savvy travellers.