NEW YORK — Amadeus says it wants to drive new revenues for railways and travel agencies with a new merchant model providing travel agencies around the world with one link to sell multiple railways.
Amadeus expects to make the new merchant model available to travel agencies worldwide in the second half of 2017. Currently it’s available to travel agencies in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.
The GDS says that with one interface and one sales system, the model “makes it much easier for travel agencies to sell rail products”. Currently the full offers of DB (German), RENFE (Spanish), SNCF (French; available in select European markets only), Trenitalia (Italian) and select eastern European rail operators are available as part of this model, with more expected to join soon.
As a sales agent for rail operators to simplify contractual agreements, financial flows and invoicing with travel agencies, Amadeus takes care of all setup, billing and settlement activities, and assumes financial and legal risks of selling via travel agencies. The model will enable railways to reach new travellers in new markets as Amadeus takes care of promoting their offer to travel agencies.
“Rail travel today is still largely domestic but this will soon change – our merchant model marks the beginning of a new era, giving the industry what it needs to take a global leap, and unlock growth. For travel agencies this will mean a convenient gateway to leading rail content that will serve to enrich their overall offer,” said Antoine de Kerviler, Global Head of Rail & Ground Travel at Amadeus.
Clients can book rail travel through their travel agency before flying and have their entire trip – including air, hotel and rail – on the same itinerary, he added.
“I am confident that rail will be on the radar of many more travelers now and as it becomes more and more accessible to them – just imagine booking rail the same way as air, all integrated in a single itinerary – it will get the attention it deserves. We look forward to adding more rail operators across all continents in the coming months,” said de Kerviler.
With the new agreement Deutsche Bahn vastly extends its global network, says Ronn Kostecki, Project Manager at Deutsche Bahn. “We will improve the availability of our tickets to all travel agencies, particularly those with a wide travel offer.”