There is a lot of ongoing interest and investment in the rail sector in Asia Pacific, the future looks bright for rail operators across the region. But, what more can they do to uncover the true potential of rail?
Based on our global experience and expert interviews with leading figures from across the Asia Pacific rail and travel sectors, we have identified five make-or-break factors – which, together, have the potential to shift the future prospects for rail.
In the following weeks, we will go into detail to discover and discuss each of the factors with dedicated blog posts. If you would like to know more, download the whitepaper here.
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.
Make timetables, booking, and data universally available
The biggest barrier for travellers choosing rail is the difficulty in accessing and understanding 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 Global Distribution Systems is 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.
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 as well as improving multimodal travel search.
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 travel 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 altogether a simple process.
Make payment easy
The next generation of travellers will demand even more conveniences throughout their journey. Here innovation in rail is key. 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.
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