Rail booking solutions for travel agencies: the rail GDS

Eve-Marie Morgo

Global rail growth is making travel sellers to see rail travel as a powerful area. As a consequence, there is a need to improve the rail offer and rail booking processes. But there is common frustration: the rail booking complexity. Could a rail GDS ease the rail booking complexity for travel sellers?

The ideal world: booking rail as easy as air travel

Travel seller's dream would be booking rail as easy as they book air travel. For railways would be:

A rail global distribution system (GDS)

Currently, the unstandardized rail industry requires travel agencies to have specific expertise to book rail. Making rail a difficult and costly service to offer.

For selling rail effectively, you will need to rely on a Global Distribution System (GDS). A simplified, automated end-to-end rail online booking tool that links front, mid and back-office. Making it easy to compare price and availability. Standardising all rail providers bookings.

A system like this would represent a change in your business model. A simplified tool with shorter training times. 

“Without no training, I could successfully book one round trip on the Brussels – London route, for an adult and a child. Very intuitive and easy to understand tool.” CHRISTINA MÖTHE, Travel Agent, FIRST Business Travel

Rail solutions for travel agencies: the benefits

Looking further ahead, a rail GDS could allow you to:

  • Offer combined travel packages (comprising, for example, air and rail)
  • Sell rail ancillary services for other travel segments 
  • Compete more effectively with the individual websites of rail companies

Your way to profitability: Amadeus rail display

AsTAP TSI and European deregulation accelerate the necessary data sharing, collaboration and standardisation are still needed.

We have been developing the rail technology solutions needed to make the rail GDS a reality with RAILyourWAY. A combination of IT solutions for travel agencies and railways. Railway's adoption of a multi-provider and multi-channel Global Rail Sales Platform will be an important milestone. But the most important will be Rail Display's adoption. 

This solution will allow travel agencies to perform a large volume of rail bookings using a single interface without requiring any expertise. Once adopted, railways' offer will be available to agents worldwide, making it simple for agents to book global rail travel.

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