Expedia to take rail seriously, with a little help from SilverRail
The rail distribution platform will power search and ticketing of rail services as part of the partnership, following a similar process that customers have on Expedia’s hotel, air and car hire channels.
The deal is being heralded as “one of the significant partnerships we have signed”, by SilverRail CEO Aaron Gowell.
The channel is expected to go live during 2016.
Expedia reckons it has had a “great playbook” with its other channels so far and now wants to add a similar focus to its provision for booking rail tickets, epecially in Europe and Asia where highs-speed train services are seen as a worthy competitor to short haul air routes.
The company’s senior vice president for global tour and transport, Greg Schulze, says:
“The growth of rail, and the significant business opportunity it presents, is a trend we can no longer neglect; we look forward to begin selling rail tickets and learning more about the nuances of this unique product.”
European sites for Expedia had previously been selling Eurostar packages, but this will be the first time that tickets from multiple train operator will be available for consumers.
It is not the first time that SilverRail has secured a major deal with an online travel agency.
The site sold rail tickets for a time but it is understood that a change of leadership at the European-focused OTA, which no longer favoured rail as part of the overall strategy, eventually saw the product switched off.
NB: German rail image via Shutterstock.
Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in early-2017.