Analytical Study of Rail Tourism Industry in Europe (2024 to 2034)

The rail tourism industry in Europe is valued at USD 320.9 billion in 2024 and is expected to expand at a 5.5% CAGR until 2034. The revenues are set to cross USD 548.1 billion by 2034.

The EU Commission is devising a new regulatory framework to allow for the development of the MDMS (Multimodal Digital Mobility Services). Announced in July 2023, the system will be able to connect flights, and rail lines to ferries and other forms of ground transportation.

This trend aims to improve the convenience and value of European rail tourism. Such integration of transport options provides connectivity for the tourists so that they can interchange between one mode and another with relative ease.

Technological advancements in onboard amenities and services for Europe rail tourism passengers make the journey-planning process more straightforward and accessible. This approach to creating a more interconnected and efficient transport system corresponds to the general trend toward increasing the attractiveness of the rail tourism industry in Europe.

Government support and investment in rail infrastructure is a key emerging trend that fosters the industry’s growth. Measures undertaken to improve the rail industry like funding for new rail lines and rail modernization increase the strength and quality of the rail system.

Another significant factor is policies that encourage people to use sustainable means of transportation such as rail travel in favor of air travel. Government policies on rail operators in the form of subsidies and incentives boost the development and innovations of the industry further. Governmental support also guarantees long-term industry development through continuous investments in infrastructure and technology.

In June 2023, the Commission invested €6.2 billion in 107 transport infrastructure projects. More than 80 percent of the funding will be directed towards the implementation of projects that improve efficiency, reduce the environmental impact, and modernize the TEN-T railways and inland waterways and maritime transport network. Projects will also enhance the Solidarity Lanes devised to help Ukraine’s export and import trade.

Attributes Details
Industry Size of Europe in 2024 USD 320.9 billion
Expected Industry Size of Europe in 2034 USD 548.1 billion
Forecasted CAGR between 2024 to 2034 5.5%

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Key Industry Highlights

Development of Smart Trains is Opportunistic for the Industry

The smart train technology is taking the European rail tourism industry to the next level by making the traveling experience better for the passengers and improving operational efficiency. Trains are being fitted with high-speed Wi-Fi, IoT devices, and digital entertainment systems to appeal to tech-savvy passengers. Services like customer-preferred seats, smart boarding passes, and in-flight ordering make it easier for travelers.

Integration of digital booking platforms and mobile apps for Europe rail tourism reservations makes it easier for travelers. This trend puts rail operators at the edge of technological developments. It draws a younger and tech-savvy audience and creates the opportunity for new revenue-generating ventures through premium services.

Launch of Themed and Entertainment Trains Means More Revenues

Themed entertainment trains are fun train travel packages where various themes form part of the package. Regional variations in rail tourism demand and preferences across European countries make trains more captivating. These trains are decorated and equipped with activities or entertainment facilities according to the themes of the movies, books, or historical events.

For instance, the Harry Potter train, launched in Scotland in January 2024, includes stories and train dining options that evoke the feeling of magic. Such themed journeys not only draw the attention of specialized audiences as well as provide them with the right experiences that generate brand loyalty. The rail tourism industry can create unique offerings based on entertainment brands and immerse the public to increase engagement and repeat business.

Multi-destination Train Launches is Beneficial for the Industry

Multi-destination train services increase the perceived value of travel because they allow travelers to visit several destinations with a single ticket. The impact of high-speed rail infrastructure development on Europe rail tourism growth highlights the significance of developing multi-destination train services.

This service is attractive to tourists who have only a short period of travel and who want the most efficient means of getting to different cities and regions. Multi-destination itineraries can attract more families, individual travelers, and group tourists visiting different regions on the same ticket. This can lead to more revenues, thereby benefiting the rail tourism industry.

In January 2024, Leo Express, a public transport operator in the Czech Republic, announced a new route that would link Belgium and Slovakia in the form of a very long train ride. It would pass through nearly 50 destinations in 19 hours such as Brussels, Dresden, Prague, and many others.

2019 to 2023 Europe Rail Tourism Revenue Outlook Compared to Future Forecast for 2024 to 2034

The industry expanded at a 5.1% CAGR between 2019 and 2023. European countries have been pumping billions of dollars into building tracks and connecting cities and tourist spots by rail. Some examples include the expansion of high-speed railways as well as the implementation of rail facilities across international borders to enable the mobility of rail trips at a greater speed and convenience.

The upgraded rail system also shortens journey times and thus increases the attractiveness of railways as a means of transportation. The creation of new routes and the improvement of old ones have also boosted the industry by providing access to previously less-touristed parts of the country.

European governments have been particularly keen to incentivize and aid the rail industry through several policies and subsidies. Steps like subsidizing rail projects, slashing VAT on train tickets, and undertaking promotions have made journeys on trains easier and cheaper.

Furthermore, the implementation of policies such as flight taxes and restrictions on short routes has motivated many people to travel by train. This governmental support has been critical to the development of the rail tourism industry.

The future of the industry looks bright at a 5.5% CAGR predicted for 2024 to 2034. The growing interest in sustainability is likely to continue providing opportunities for the rail tourism industry in Europe.

With climate change and the conservation of the environment being key concerns across the globe today, rail transport will continue to attract consumers because of its emission advantage over air and road transport. The Green Deal initiated by the European Union and other sustainability policies will also help continue this trend. It can further investments in green technologies and ecological approaches within the European rail industry.

Sudip Saha
Sudip Saha

Principal Consultant

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Comparative View of Industries Adjacent to Rail Tourism in Europe

This section analyzes the industries adjacent to rail tourism, namely, luxury travel and cruise tourism. The information provided in the tables is indicative of trends and challenges in these industries.

The macro analysis indicates that improving income levels is beneficial for these industries. Tourists are demanding calm and serene experiences to get away from their hectic life schedules. Businesses in these industries are innovating to accommodate various types of tourists, helping these industries thrive.

Luxury Travel Industry Assessment:

Luxury travel brands are focusing on environmental responsibility and seeking sustainable packaging solutions. They are doing so to reduce their carbon footprints and minimize waste. Businesses are adopting minimalist packaging designs to invoke a sense of luxury. Consumers are demanding immersive and authentic experiences. The rise in experiential travel is beneficial for the industry.

Attributes Details
Related Market Luxury Travel Market
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 6.5%
Valuation (2024) USD 2.26 trillion
Key Trend Travel providers are embracing sustainable practices and partnering with conservation organizations.
Key Challenge Geopolitical tensions, natural disasters, and global health crises impact growth prospects.

Cruise Tourism Industry Assessment:

Demand for cruise tourism is skyrocketing to improve income levels and more purchasing power. Businesses are providing cruises to new destinations with a price advantage.

This trend is an intriguing interest of consumers who’ve wanted to experience cruise tourism. Cruise ships like the Icon of the Seas and others are offering immersive experiences that are attracting more customers. This trend is leading to more revenues in the industry.

Attributes Details
Related Market Cruise Tourism Market
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 12.1%
Valuation (2024) USD 7.1 billion
Key Trend Launch of new cruise ships with advanced technologies and entertainment facilities.
Key Challenge Economic recessions slow down the growth of the industry.

Category-wise insights

This section takes a closer look at the industry segmentation of rail tourism in Europe. The research highlights that scenic train is the leading train tour type, with 28% of shares captured in 2024. Under the age group, the 26 to 35 years segment leads with 36% of shares garnered in 2024.

Scenic Trains are Highly Preferred in Europe

Segment Scenic Trains
Value Share (2024) 28%

The trends in experiential and slow travel are ideal for scenic train journeys, as they focus on leisure travel and authentic experiences. This is in stark contrast to air travel and is a selling point for those who hate rushing. Scenic train travel also has avenues for nostalgia and romanticism.

This can include the golden age of rail travel or luxurious options such as the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to attract tourists. Companies in the rail tourism industry engage in strategic marketing and use images and social media to tell their story smartly and attractively.

Scenic trains have amenities such as larger windows and spacious seating that appeal to a wide audience. In Europe, there are various scenic routes such as the Glacier Express and the Flam Railway. They are attractive and present magnificent scenes that are appealing to domestic and international tourists alike.

26 to 35 Years Age Group Immensely Contributes to Industry Expansion

Segment 26 to 35 Years
Value Share (2024) 36%

The rise of digital nomadism among 26 to 35-year-olds has reshaped travel preferences, with scenic train journeys becoming popular due to their conducive environment for remote work and exploration.

Targeted marketing efforts by rail companies emphasize adventure, sustainability, and cultural experiences, appealing to this demographic through engaging content and influencer partnerships. Additionally, scenic trains cater to group travel, offering space for social interaction and shared experiences, further enhancing their appeal to young travelers.

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Country-wise Insights

This section analyzes the demand for rail tourism in key European countries as given in the table below. The industry is led by Spain, expanding at a 7.2% CAGR until 2034. Italy follows next, expanding at a 6.7% CAGR till 2034. Lastly, France is also on the list, expanding at a 6.2% CAGR until 2034.

Countries Value CAGR (2024 to 2034)
Spain 7.2%
Italy 6.7%
France 6.2%

Investments in Luxury and Premium Travel Experiences Foster the Industry in Spain

The demand for rail tourism in Spain is set to amplify at a 7.2% CAGR until 2034. Following a rising need for luxury travel services, the Spanish rail industry has embarked on an expansion of luxury and premium trains to meet the expectations of wealthy people who prefer exotic amenities in their trains.

These luxury features include private suites, gourmet eateries, personal concierge, and special lounges bringing the luxury train travel to an entirely new level. By pursuing the luxury segment of rail travelers, rail companies can capture high-spending tourists and present themselves as suppliers of premium experiences in Spain’s rail tourism industry.

Infrastructure Investments Catapult Demand for Rail Tourism in Italy

The revenues of Italy’s rail tourism industry are poised to increase at a 6.7% CAGR until 2034. Italian rail infrastructure investments, strategic partnerships, and customer experience enhancements are driving rail tourism growth. Targeted marketing, seasonal promotions, and digital transformation initiatives optimize operations and attract diverse travelers.

Sustainability initiatives align with eco-conscious trends, while international collaborations expand Italy's tourism reach. Accessibility improvements ensure inclusivity, while data analytics inform strategic decision-making for competitive advantage. Together, these efforts elevate the Italian rail tourism industry’s appeal by offering convenient, sustainable, and enriching travel experiences for domestic and international tourists alike.

Digital Transformation Initiatives Nurture the Industry in France

The demand for rail tourism in France is predicted to rise at a 6.2% CAGR by 2034. French rail operators are embracing digital transformation to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency. Sustainability initiatives position rail travel as eco-friendly, attracting environmentally conscious travelers.

Cultural and culinary tourism offerings capitalize on France's rich heritage, appealing to cultural enthusiasts and food lovers. Customer experience enhancements, including onboard amenities and station facilities, prioritize passenger satisfaction, fostering loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the Europe rail tourism industry is characterized by established players like Deutsche Bahn and SNCF, which leverage extensive infrastructure and brand recognition.

Emerging niche players such as Eurail Group focus on providing flexible travel options, while luxury operators target affluent travelers with premium experiences. Competition extends to other transportation modes, with rail operators investing in high-speed infrastructure and digitalization to enhance the passenger experience and remain competitive.

Recent Developments

  • In February 2024, Siemens Mobility launched Smart Train Lease for its Mireo Smart Trains. The new venture offers a flexible rental model for trains.
  • In September 2023, Europe’s Rail and SESAR Joint Undertakings partnered to develop an “integrated air and rail network”. With a total investment of EUR 7 million, the partnership is aimed at developing a sustainable and energy-efficient multimodal transport system.

Scope of the Report

Attribute Details
Estimated Industry Size in 2024 USD 320.9 billion
Projected Industry Size in 2034 USD 548.1 billion
Anticipated CAGR between 2024 to 2034 5.5% CAGR
Historical Analysis of Demand for Rail Tourism in Europe 2019 to 2023
Demand Forecast for Rail Tourism in Europe 2024 to 2034
Report Coverage Industry Size, Industry Trends, Analysis of Key Factors influencing Rail Tourism in Europe, Insights on Global Players and their Industry Strategy in Europe, Ecosystem Analysis of Local and Regional European Manufacturers
Key Companies Profiled Eurail Group G.I.E.; Renfe Viajeros; Deutsche Bahn (DB); SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français); Trenitalia; Siemens Mobility; Swiss Travel System; ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways); NS International (Nederlandse Spoorwegen); SBB (Swiss Federal Railways); Eurostar International Limited

Segmentation Analysis

By Train Tour Type:

The sector fragments into High-Speed Train, Long-Distance Train, Night Train, Local/Regional Train, Scenic Train, and International Train.

By Booking Channel:

The industry trifurcates into Phone Booking, Online Booking, and In Person Booking.

By Tourist Type:

The sector bifurcates into Domestic and International.

By Age Group:

The industry is classified into 15 to 25 Years, 26 to 35 Years, 36 to 45 Years, 46 to 55 Years, and 66 to 75 Years.

By Country:

Analysis of the industry has been conducted in the United Kingdom, Scotland, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Spain, Venice, Sweden, and Others.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Rapidly Is the Demand for Rail Tourism in Europe Growing? 

The expected CAGR until 2034 stands at 5.5%. 

What is the Demand Outlook for the Coming Years? 

The valuation is projected to reach USD 548.1 million by 2034. 

Which Trends Influence the Demand in Europe?

Sustainability trends influence the demand in Europe.

What Strategies are used by Players in Europe?

Manufacturers are emphasizing tech-driven strategies.

What is the Preferred Train Tour Type in Europe?

Scenic trains are highly popular in the industry.

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary

2. Industry Introduction, including Taxonomy and Market Definition

3. Market Trends and Success Factors, including Macro-economic Factors, Market Dynamics, and Recent Industry Developments

4. Market Demand Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, including Historical Analysis and Future Projections

5. Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034

    5.1. Train Tour Type

    5.2. Booking Channel

    5.3. Tourist Type

    5.4. Age Group

6. Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Train Tour Type

    6.1. High-Speed Train

    6.2. Long-Distance Train

    6.3. Night Train

    6.4. Local/Regional Train

    6.5. Scenic Train

    6.6. International Train

7. Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Booking Channel

    7.1. Phone Booking

    7.2. Online Booking

    7.3. In Person Booking

8. Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Tourist Type

    8.1. Domestic Tourist

    8.2. International Tourist

9. Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Age Group

    9.1. 15-25 Years

    9.2. 26-35 Years

    9.3. 36-45 Years

    9.4. 46-55 Years

    9.5. 56-65 Years

    9.6. 66-75 Years

    9.7. Above 75 Years

10. Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Country

    10.1. Germany

    10.2. Italy

    10.3. France

    10.4. UK

    10.5. Spain

    10.6. Russia

    10.7. Rest of Europe

11. Germany Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Region

12. Italy Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Region

13. France Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Region

14. UK Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Region

15. Spain Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Region

16. Russia Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Region

17. Rest of Europe Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

18. Sales Forecast 2024 to 2034 by Train Tour Type, Booking Channel, Tourist Type, and Age Group for Countries

19. Competition Outlook, including Market Structure Analysis, Company Share Analysis by Key Players, and Competition Dashboard

20. Company Profile

    20.1. Trafalgar

    20.2. G Adventures

    20.3. Group Voyagers

    20.4. Cosmos Tours

    20.5. Wings Tour

    20.6. Great Rail Journeys

    20.7. Eurailing Packages

    20.8. Intro Travel

    20.9. Wanderlands Travel

    20.10. Georgian Holidays


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