Allegro Lacks New Partnership Terms for Travel Industry

Sergey Vladimirov, 25.11.2013 17:49
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The meeting on partnership expansion between the Suomen Valtion Rautatiet (Finnish Railways) management representatives and tourist agents of St. Petersburg brought little result. ‘New opportunities for tourism’, which was the name of the meeting, were nowhere to be heard.
Essentially, Finns reiterated that Allegro can provide 20% discount when booking tickets for a group of tourists (6 or more), and a 4% commission upon signing the contract.
However, in light of fierce competition with other means of transportation (one can get from St. Petersburg to Finland using a ferryboat, car or plane, which are all available around the clock) these conditions can only be acceptable for separate dates during the busy season.
According to Sergei Khokhlov, commercial manager of the ‘West Travel’ company, cost is a significant factor for the North-Western residents when talking about some of the more popular tours to the neighboring country.
“A two-day bus tour to Helsinki costs about 70 euro, which is cheaper than a one-way ticket for Allegro,” he says. “So despite the fact that there is some market for the train travel, in order to expand the scope of operations more affordable rates must be introduced, comparable to those of other modes of transportation.”
To this effect a recommendation for VR was put forward to develop special rates for the tourism industry, similar to the ones utilized by the air industry, for instance, linking them to the volume of sales.
Experts forecast Allegro high-speed rail to transport 400 thousand passengers this year, while in 2014 there is a chance to reach the mark of half a million passengers.
Antti Tiytola, the president of Finland’s VR-Group, is positive: ‘the number of passengers for this destination is bound to continue growing, for there is large potential for developing tourism in St. Petersburg.”
But the travel agents of St. Petersburg maintain that the primary people who are interested in Allegro, a third of tickets for which is sold freely through the Internet, are business and individual tourists, as well as clients who value their time and comfort. The majority of the ‘mass’ tourists still prefer to stay thrifty about their travels.
Страны, регионы и города: Finland, Russia
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