Trenitalia’s knockout summer

By Wednesday, 12 October 2022 06:00
Pietro Diamantini Pietro Diamantini, Trenitalia's high-speed business director

Trenitalia. Best of the pick for tourists. From Europe to North America, and with more than a nod from Asia, summer international bookings  were up 30% on 2019.

Everyone loves trains. Not just foreign visitors, because Italians too are increasingly choosing rail travel for their holidays, and after two and a half pandemic years they are doing it more than ever. Italy has an extensive rail network, and the high-speed trains are its spearhead says Pietro Diamantini, Trenitalia's high-speed business director.

How has the market changed in the last two years and what does the future hold?

“In the post-pandemic era travel has changed a lot. The leisure segment is prevalent within our target clientele and has prompted us to design an increasingly competitive and sustainable form of travel compared to private and other modes of transport. Things have evolved taking on board the demand, and they will continue to evolve into the next tourist season. Our tailor-made travel solutions will favour north-south travel, with more connections, more speed, and more stops in destinations with strong tourist vocations. In recent years, jumping on the bandwagon of this evolution we extended the Frecciarossa connections beyond the Turin-Salerno high-speed axis, and added more trains on the Adriatic and Rome-Venice lines. And this is also true for Calabria, for example with the Frecciarossa night trains. We are doing out utmost to offer solutions that will encourage people to travel for tourism even outside the traditional season."

Trenitalia 1

What are the results of the introduction of high-speed on the Paris-Milan line?

"Both the Italian and French markets have shown a lot of interest right from its launch and, to our great satisfaction, the load factor has often topped 90%. The Frecciarossa travel experience with all the features that are so popular in Italy, has really surprised international customers who were not familiar with our levels of service. We achieved excellent sales results through our direct channels, but also thanks to our travel agent and railway company partners."

How is the concept of intermodality evolving to reach those tourist locations that are not so efficiently served by traditional connections?

"In recent years we have worked a lot in this direction: with Freccialink buses, we are extending the comfort and quality of the high-speed Frecce to wonderful tourist spots like Matera, Perugia, Assisi and also with seasonal services to Madonna di Campiglio, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Val Gardena, Val di Fassa, Sorrento and Pompei. For the coming season we are adding increasingly competitive solutions to encourage people to choose Trenitalia and leave their cars at home. To add to the customer experience we are working with important partners, and we have synergies with ports and airports. In addition, we are boosting the direct Frecciarossa connections between Florence, Naples and the Rome Fiumicino hub. This means offering additional ways to get to Rome’s international airport with Frecciarossa trains, and to continue on to multiple destinations.  Then there are the integrated connections with the shipping companies Snav and Alilauro to ports on the islands in the Gulf of Naples and the Aeolian Islands. And some solutions include the bus services from Naples Centrale station to the Molo Beverello jetty.”

Which foreign markets are you concentrating on?  

“Well, our distribution channels abroad are performing very well this year so we estimate that 2022 may even surpass 2019. Europe is still our main foreign market and it is growing very fast this year, even compared to pre-pandemic levels. The North American market, which remains an important reference point for us, is also recovering fast, and we are starting to get positive signals from South America and Asia, especially South Korea and Japan. Collaboration with our international partners for the recovery and development of these markets is strategic.”

What is happening with regard to the international trade?

"We are offering them all our product and service innovations. From now to the end of the year we will have a series of meetings to further develop business with our international network, and we are in the process of launching interesting innovations aimed at further growth, like new aggregators and GDS platforms. We are present at the main international trade events, also attracting interest from operators in new markets. We can proudly say that the Frecciarossa service model is now known and appreciated in many countries around the world.”

Globally, what is the value of the agency distribution channel?

"Travel agencies are a privileged interface for Trenitalia. They know the customers’ needs inside out and they come up with the best solutions. The distribution channel is fundamental for our global outreach, with the dual aim of increasing sales and consolidating our brand's distribution network. We also believe it is important to keep an eye on how to simplify the purchasing processes, and to offer a customer experience that lives up to expectations, while also taking fully into account the needs of a young and constantly evolving market."

A positive summer 2022. With a boom of foreign tourists beyond pre-pandemic levels

The summer season that has just ended was clearly a positive one: "More than 80 million passengers travelled on our trains," says Pietro Diamantini. On the high-speed Frecce network around 7% of tickets were sold through summer promotions. In addition, the free kids offer led to numbers up to six times higher than in 2019.  Other offers for leisure traffic were also on the rise: you&me, groups and insieme doubled sales in August compared to 2019." There are also "strong signs of recovery" from "international tourism: summer bookings exceeded by 30% the levels of 2019, the year with the best results ever. This is an important market segment and we are keeping a watchful eye on it.”  

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+80% Growth for arrivals and departures in Calabria compared to 2019

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