GETTING RESPONSIBLE TRAVELLERS ON BOARD
Free (open access)
117 - 126
In times of growing global concern over the effects of climate change, railways could potentially provide the market with viable and valuable options for more environmentally-friendly responsible tourism practices. Traditional train companies themselves appear to be increasingly aware of the immense tourism potential of their sector; this is evidenced by their offer of additional — and often complementary — tourist-oriented services such as car rental bargains or combined transport— accommodation packages on top of conventional train tickets. The present paper aims to examine the marketing tools and initiatives that train companies have conceived and developed to target and attract responsible travellers. It reviews the most relevant literature on rail tourism, with a focus on both the main characteristics of rail tourists and the link between rail tourism and sustainability. The literature review will be followed by the analysis of the tools and initiatives being implemented by three national train operating companies — Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer (SNCF), Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS) and Trenitalia in France, Switzerland and Italy respectively. The case study analysis is based on the inputs collected from each of the three operator’s corporate sustainability strategy, business-to-consumer (B2C) website, and digital or printed promotional material provided to potential or actual passengers. The findings relative to each train operator will eventually be compared and some conclusions on the main components and outreach of the strategies and initiatives put in place by train operators to attract responsible tourists will be drawn. The paper will conclude by suggesting further research on the topic and the analysis of additional case studies.
rail transport, rail tourism, responsible traveller, train companies, sustainable mobility