Expedia to Offer Rail Travel in UK this Fall
Photo courtesy of British Rail.
Expedia announced Sunday that it will offer rail travel to customers in the United Kingdom beginning this fall.
The company said it has received support from the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to move forward.
The new offerings on Expedia.co.uk will signal the first time that a global, full-service online travel agency has offered a rail component in addition to other travel products like hotels, air travel and car rentals.
Citing data from Phocuswright 2016, Expedia pointed out that rail is currently the fastest growing sector in travel, representing an estimated $130 billion market opportunity. However, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of rail bookings are currently made offline.
READ MORE: Enjoy Expedia's London Time Machine Portal
"Rail presents an extraordinary opportunity for the business in attracting new customers, growing the frequency of site visits, and offering a new transportation option with existing travel purchases," said the Expedia group's senior vice president of commercial strategy and services Greg Schulze in a statement. "Adding rail will allow travelers to create new types of package holidays, such as combining train travel with a hotel stay, a car hire, or other things to do at their destination."
"We've learned quickly that adding rail to our business is not as easy as copy-pasting our existing booking models," he added. "Rail is a unique platform and our partners have been great in ensuring a seamless entrance into the market and delivering high customer value as well."
While the new offerings will debut in the U.K. later this year, Expedia said it has plans to expand rail travel to other parts of the world in the future.
More by Patrick Clarke
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Cruise Line & Cruise Ship
Airlines & Airports