Waleed Ahmed, Regional Manager, Middle East, Central Asia & Caucasus, Rail Europe 4A, and Assita Kone, Hospitality Business Development Manager, Middle East, Travelport
Travelport, the business services provider to the global travel industry, announces that travel agents in the Middle East are now able to book international rail travel using its online portal Travelport Leisure.
The new rail offering is the result of an agreement with Rail Europe 4A, which offers products from high profile rail operators across Europe and beyond. The content is now accessible to travel agents in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, and will be available in other countries in the region later this year.
Agents can make bookings for both point-to-point journeys in Europe, as well as for rail passes throughout Europe, the United States, the Far East and Australia, including Eurail, Amtrak, VIA Rail, Korail and Japan Rail Pass. Options range from Eurostar and other high-speed European trains to conventional trains and even local or scenic trains.
"Thanks to our partnership with Travelport, we are proud to be able to offer Middle East travel agents diverse rail content as a complement to their other travel bookings," said Pierre-Stéphane Austi, CEO, Rail Europe. "Upgrades and developments from Rail Europe’s system are reflected on Travelport Leisure instantly, making it the ideal channel for us to distribute our content to travel agents in real-time.”
Rabih Saab, Travelport’s president and managing director, Middle East and Africa, says the news will be welcomed by the Middle East travel trade. “This new rail content will make rail bookings much easier for travel agents in the Middle East and significantly increase the choice they are able to offer clients ahead of the busy summer travel period.
“By partnering with one of the leading global providers of rail products, we’ve been able to make Travelport Leisure an even more invaluable tool for travel agents, giving them a one-stop shop for all the hotel, car and rail content that they need,” added Saab.
Rail Europe, the leading distributor of rail products in the world, is represented by Al Rostamani Travel and Al Tayer Travel in the UAE; Jumbo Tours and Al Ghanim Travel in Kuwait; Bahwan Travel Agencies in Oman; Mannai Travel and Unique Choice in Qatar; Al Tayyar and Al Zouman in Saudi Arabia; and Dadabhai and House of Travel in Bahrain. Each of these travel retailers has consultants who are rail specialists.
Travelport Leisure includes wide-ranging hotel, hostel, B&B and car options, including content from a range of well-known, market leading leisure suppliers. It is free of charge to use for all travel agents, even if they do not subscribe to a Travelport GDS.