Eurail Group GIE: Marketing Rail Travel in Europe

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG158
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2001-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Eurail Group GIE
Industry : Travel and Tourism
Countries : Worldwide

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"I like the utter freedom of a full 15 or 21-day Eurailpass. I can travel anywhere, any time -- and I can be as adventurous as I wish." 1

- Clive Shearer, a passenger on Eurail.

"Europe's fast, efficient and comfortable rail network is a great eye-opener to American travelers whose usual transportation is by car or plane."2

- Rachel Young, Eurail Marketing Manager, in 2005.


In May 2006, the Eurail Group G.I.E3 (Eurail), an incorporated association of 37 European railway and shipping companies, reported a sales growth of 9% in the first quarter of 2006. Earlier in January 2006, it had reported a 24% growth in passenger traffic for the year 2005. The healthy growth levels, coming as they did in a period fraught with natural disasters, increased levels of terrorism, and dramatic exchange rate fluctuations, seemed to affirm the popularity of Eurail's travel passes, called Eurail Passes.

In 1959, individual railway companies of 13 European countries came together with the intention of encouraging tourism and expanding their market.

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This association was called the Eurail Community. They introduced the Eurailpass exclusively for North American tourists, allowing them to travel as they pleased in any of the 13 rail systems for a period of two months. Later, the pass facility was extended to people from other countries (barring residents of Europe, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.).

In order to better market the Eurail brand, the Eurail Community, which by then had grown to include 17 companies, was replaced by an incorporated company in 2001. Rail travel using the Eurail travel pass was promoted as a better option for traveling in Europe, compared to other modes of travel such as road and air. The company also introduced a wide range of passes in order to cater to every kind of travel budget and itinerary. Eurail distributed its passes through authorized sales agents and expanded their availability throughout the world. Over the years, in spite of competition from other modes of travel, Eurail was able to hold its own mainly because of its convenience and the uniqueness of the experience it provided to the travelers.

Eurail Group GIE: Marketing Rail Travel in Europe - Next Page>>

1] "The benefits of train travel,"

2] "Early birds get extra travel day on Eurail,", January 25, 2005.

3] Groupment Européen d'intèret économique.

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