Railbookers has added 20 itineraries for 2019 as it continues to raise awareness of its independent train holidays among travel agents.
New destinations include India, with a Golden Triangle trip, and Asia, with the Eastern and Oriental Express from Bangkok to Singapore. Also new are itineraries on the Trans-Siberian and Trans‑Mongolian railways.
The operator, which was direct-sell 18 months ago, has increased the print run of its 2019-20 brochure by producing it in a smaller format.
The trade now accounts for about 20% of its sales, with more commercial deals likely.
Managing director Peter Traynor is confident half of Railbookers’ UK sales will be from agents within two years.
Part of the attraction for agents is that they can book train tickets further in advance through Railbookers than they can direct with rail companies, he said.
“Agents who are asked to book rail can’t do so until six months before departure, when rail firms release the tickets,” he said. “With us they can book until 2020.”
He added: “What’s resonating with the trade is the multi-centre itineraries. We need more agents to understand what we do. Many do not realise we do independent [non-escorted] holidays.”
Other new itineraries for next year include five in Switzerland, such as the nine-day Scenic Switzerland, which offers six ‘iconic’ journeys. It costs from £1,889, with flights from the UK.
Another new trip is Ultimate Norway in a Nutshell, offering eight days by rail, bus and boat, including sightseeting and flights from the UK, from £1,369.
US and Canadian itineraries also feature in the brochure.
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