Connecting tourism and rail: sustainability, challenges and business opportunities

What is TopRail?
TopRail is a UIC project that actively promotes railway tourism products by increasing the visibility of service offerings. This is accomplished by fostering close collaboration between stakeholders and their customers to encourage railway tourism opportunities. Railway tourism is able to offer a wide range of tourism alternatives combining exclusivity, technology, luxury and sustainability whilst contributing to fostering local economies.

For more information check the TopRail website:

Morning Programme
TopRail members and ETOA have joined forces to present a day’s programme to promote rail travel in the context of leisure tourism for European citizens and inbound visitors.
The initiative is composed of a one hour open broadcast event at noon and a training programme in the afternoon.


ONLINE BROADCAST (18 MAY 2021, 12 :00-13:00 CEST)

Are you interested in pan-European rail tourism?

UIC TopRail members and ETOA (the European Tourism Association) are happy to invite you to join us for an online broadcast about Rail Tourism on 18 May 2021 where representatives from across Europe will participate as speakers.

Connecting tourism and rail: sustainability, challenges and business opportunities

The purpose of this online event is to raise awareness and to encourage engagement between rail sector and trade actors in order to promote rail travel in the context of leisure tourism for European citizens and inbound visitors.

Looking ahead to 2030, this broadcast discussion of industry experts will explore the opportunities for the sustainable development and recovery post-Covid 19. Against the background of the climate emergency, the creation and distribution of new leisure rail travel products will be discussed with best practice examples drawn from international and intra-European case studies.

This session will act as an introduction to subsequent training and commercial events organised by TopRail and ETOA for the development of European rail tourism.

Please join the broadcast using the link below:

Afternoon Programme: TOPRAIL TRAVEL TRADE TRAINING (18 MAY 2021, 14:00-17:30 CEST)


14:00-14:10 Welcome | TopRail

14:10-14:50 Keynote | Tim Fairhurst, ETOA

  • European policy perspectives on recovery
  • Travel trade ecosystem: global to local
  • Success factors for rail tourism
    –  Increase in product awareness (B2B & B2C)
    – Collaboration with industry, destinations and local transport
    – Accessibility, client safety and reassurance
    – Efficient booking processes and option of end-to-end ticketing
    – Good reputation for service, quality, reliability and value
  • The view from Asia and North America
    – Perspective from Japan
    – Perspective from North America

14:50-15:00 Break

15:00-15:30 Presentation 1 | Tour Operator Perspective – Product Development & Sustainability

  • Customer demand/expectations
  • Smart product development and combination
  • Use of thematic hooks and cultural routes
  • Product diversification and scalability: FIT and groups
  • Sustainability

15:30-15:40 Session 1 Q&A

15:40-15:50 Break

15:50-16:20 Presentation 2 | Intermediaries’ Perspective – Planning, distribution and operations

  • Ticketing and distribution demands
  • Intermodality
  • Cross-border and inter-regional product
  • Sustainability

16:20-16:30 Session 2 Q&A

16:30-16:40 Break

16:40-17:10 Breakout Sessions
Delegates are broken into groups with speakers plus the additional travel trade representatives to interrogate specific issues arising

  • Asian Market – Trends and product demand
  • North American Market – Trends and product demand
  • European Market – Trends and product demand
  • Sustainability
  • Ticketing & Distribution

17:10-17:30 Breakout Session Recap and Q&A Outputs

This is a TopRail initiative


In cooperation with: