Webjet adds European rail to its B2B offer for Asia

Australia-listed Webjet continues to grow its global B2B business, with its dedicated brand for Asia – FIT Ruums – signing a deal with Rail Europe.

FIT Ruums was launched in November 2016 and sits alongside European-focused SunHotels and North America and MEA-centric Lots of Hotels within Webjet’s B2B unit,  known as WebBeds.

Its deal with Rail Europe effectively allows travel agents in Asia Pacific to sell European rail tickets and passes to clients. Rail Europe works with 35 train companies in Europe, including SNCF in France, Deutsche Bahn in Germany, Trenitalia in Italy, Virgin Trains in the UK and cross-channel operator Eurostar.

FIT Ruums-connected agents in South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan will be the first to access the inventory, followed by its three key markets – Japan, China and India. Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are also part of the second phase.

The demand for European rail travel from Asian tourists is growing, with FIT Ruums saying that more than one million Asian travellers used European rail during the first five months of this year, nearly 10% up on the same period last year.

Switzerland is the most popular destination for Asian rail enthusiasts, followed by the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany.

In a presentation to investors around the time that FIT Ruums launched and which summarised its B2B aims and ambitions, Webjet said that in the year to end-June16 its B2B operations generated an EBITDA of A$3.4 million ($2.6 million) from a total transaction volume of A$346 million ($268 million). At the time it expected these figures for the year just ended to come in at more than A$11 million ($8.5 million) and $450 ($348 million) respectively.

And over the next five years it expects B2B to turn in a compound annual growth rate of 30% in terms of its EBITDA.

Related reading from Tnooz:
Webjet ramps up European B2B with £21 million Thomas Cook deal (Aug16)
Webjet sees B2B division becoming bigger than consumer-facing brand, buys SunHotels (July14)

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