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Qunar.com is China’s first online travel agency. During the Amadeus Rail Innovation Forum , we spoke to Amy Wei, Rail International Business General Manager, to discuss the potential of selling international rail in Asia.
Qunar.com is the place to book for younger generations of Chinese travelers. From Generation Z to millennial travelers, cost-conscious travelers can find a wide range of competitive price options for air and rail. Talking about rail, how big is the demand for international rail in the region? 122 million Chinese tourists made outbound trips during 2016 . This increase has been reflected in Qunar.com:
“We have experimented a true demand for international rail sales on our website, mostly for European rail travel."
Yet no single traveler has the same needs and there are some challenges when it comes to European rail travel for Chinese travelers.
Although North Asia is the world’s most advanced region for rail travel, Chinese travelers might find many barriers when going on an international rail journey:
“We frequently receive questions when booking a European rail journey such as: are 10 minutes enough to switch from train A to B?. At the end, we perceive that Chinese travelers still need a lot of rail travel education”
When it comes to online rail bookings, Qunar.com is experimenting how rail is the perfect complement to create a seamless travel experience.
“15% of rail tickets are sold together with insurance products.70% of our customers are air and rail customers. And 40% are adding a hotel component when booking rail. Rail is complementing other travel options."
There is a huge opportunity for selling international rail in China. Beating today's challenges might not be an easy task. Putting the right rail technology solutions in place to distribute rail internationally and better understanding Chinese traveler’s needs will ensure international rail travel has a promising future.