Rail operators urged to focus on the passenger experience to get ahead of the competition

24 Mar 2017

Recent improvements in rail travel have seen a huge boost in passenger journeys across Western Europe, reaching a record high of 1.65 billion in the UK between 2014-2015. As onboard hospitality undergoes an exciting period of transformation, with an increased emphasis on innovation and the passenger experience, the sector’s leading suppliers will come together at this year’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE®) to showcase new ways for rail operators to gain higher levels of customer satisfaction as well as increasing loyalty and revenue.

With factors from the rise of celebrity chefs, wider culinary choice onboard to the power of social media and the ongoing challenge of choosing between mass-produced goods or local provenance, the onboard catering sector is changing rapidly. WTCE exhibitors will showcase exclusive product launches at the show and highlight the ways in which rail companies can set their services apart from other leading travel operators in this competitive time.

Representing some of the industry’s leading rail service companies including Rail Gourmet, Cremonini and JLV, the International Rail Catering Group (IRCG) will return to WTCE this year following its successful debut in 2016. Speaking about the event, Michelangelo La Malfa, President of the IRCG, said: “WTCE proved to be a great place to network with clients and suppliers alike. We were pleased to receive a number of new member applications to our organisation following the show and return to this year’s event with both LSG and Newrest newly onboard.”

“Rail companies clearly understand the correlation between a great onboard service and customer satisfaction levels – and that higher satisfaction leads to increased loyalty and revenues,” added La Malfa. “WTCE offers the opportunity for rail operators to discover new onboard opportunities and meet suppliers that can help them compete with travel rivals for an increased share of middle and short haul passenger volumes.”

Joining the IRCG in Hamburg this April, WTCE’s popular Rail Trail will once again return to help visitors navigate the show floor for the most relevant exhibitors showcasing products or services relevant to the rail sector. The Trail, currently features more than 160 companies, including Kaelis; one of the world’s leading providers of on-board products, services and solutions for the air and rail industries; Egret Aviation, a manufacturer of galley equipment for air and rail services; Dr. Schar AG; the European market leader of gluten-free products; Butlers Chocolates, Ireland’s eminent producer of premium luxury chocolates and confectionery; and Colpac Ltd, a British designer and manufacturer of food packaging currently celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Speaking about the renewed focus on rail at WTCE 2017, Syreeta Tranfield, Exhibition Director, said: “Consumers have come to expect so much more from travel operators. It is no longer just about getting to their destination but the experience during the journey. Rail operators have acknowledged this demand and are in turn assessing the touch points that will result in a positive journey that passengers will remember.

“The increased level of interest from rail suppliers in exhibiting as well as feedback from visitors who want to see more products and services suitable for the rail industry is further evidence of the changing nature of the sector. WTCE reflects the interests of both suppliers and operators within the rail sector and brings together the best onboard expertise and innovation relevant across the rail, air, cruise and coach industries. We’re delighted that the IRCG and Rail Trail will once again take their place at WTCE 2017 and look forward to welcoming rail operators to discover how to transform the passenger experience.”

WTCE 2017, which takes place at the Hamburg Messe from 4-6 April, will provide unmissable insights, innovations and networking opportunities for those in the onboard catering and passenger comfort industries. It is co-located with Aircraft Interiors Expo, which features more than 500 exhibitors and is free for those registered to attend WTCE.

For more information on exhibiting at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo 2017, please visit http://bit.ly/2frzyQz.

To register to attend go to http://bit.ly/2fWacX7

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