VIA Rail forays into Indian Market

The announcement is part of VIA Rail’s plan to create awareness about its services in India in recognition of India’s increasing significance as a major source of potential travellers to the country.

VIA Rail Canada, which operates the national passenger rail service on behalf of the Government of Canada, announced its foray into the Indian market and introduced its exotic train journeys for Indian visitors at a press conference held in Delhi. The announcement is part of VIA Rail’s plan to create awareness about its services in India in recognition of India’s increasing significance as a major source of potential travellers to the country.

Delegates from VIA Rail Canada, led by Pierre Santoni, Senior Director, Domestic and International Sales, Via Rail Canada addressed the conference and shared strategic insights into VIA Rail’s plan for engaging the Indian outbound market. The national passenger rail service showcased its vast portfolio of exotic destinations that one can visit while travelling on-board VIA Rail.

Speaking on the occasion, Pierre Santoni said, “We realize the importance of the outbound tourist market from India. Canada recorded 1, 62000 tourist visits from India in 2012. We are looking at tapping a major chunk of our Indian visitors this year by encouraging them to use VIA Rail as a preferred mode of travel while visiting Canada. We plan to work on a consultative basis with the travel trade community in India to provide extensive product knowledge and destination information.”

VIA is planning to put several other technological improvements in place in this year. As a part of the Indian market approach, it will network with top travel agents in the market while also training them with product knowledge by conducting regular educational workshops across cities like Delhi and Mumbai. VIA’s marketing strategy will focus on partnering with the CTC to promote activities and engage the industry with familiarization trips.

VIA caters to travellers of all kinds and offers the best intercity travel experience in Canada. VIA’s passengers travelling in all classes (Sleeper, Touring or Sleeper Touring class and Business class) can enjoy priority boarding. Travellers can relax on board and access VIA Rail’s world-class Wi-Fi system to enjoy a host of entertainment services, making their travel on-board productive.

VIA offers a sustainable mode of transport and according to Environment Canada, a train can replace 180 cars when comparing greenhouse gas emissions compared to its capacity. VIA carried a total of 4.1 million passengers in 2011 and also noticed a remarkable increase of 20% in the number of Indian passengers travelling on board its trains. Addressing the concerns of vegetarian food and excess luggage faced by many Indian passengers, the company assures that their policies are well suited for Indians and such situations do not rise. VIA has up to 497 departures weekly, connects over 450 Canadian communities, transports 4.1 million passengers yearly and boasts of 396 passenger cars and 78 active locomotives.

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