Trade Pulse | 2016-03-23
Kunal Kothari Executive Director Rail Europe Pvt. Ltd. in a tete-tete with TravelScapes

Kunal Kothari  Executive Director Rail Europe Pvt. Ltd. in a tete-tete with TravelScapes throws light on the Swiss Travel Pass Superstar Programme, New offers and Insights into the Exciting Product to promote Switzerland…
“With  an access to 490 museums across Switzerland, upto 50% reduction on mountain excursions, unlimited local travel across about 80 cities/towns/villages on their public transportation, the great punctuality rate and….. this product has an endless list of benefits and most importantly, all this comes in a Single Ticket called the Swiss Travel Pass!”



What is your marketing strategy this year behind launching the Swiss Travel Pass SuperStar Programme for the Indian trade?
The third season of the Swiss Travel Pass SuperStar in 2015 was a grand success as compared to the previous seasons. We had a winners from various places and participants from places we wouldn’t even dream of. With 855 participants from 34 different locations, we thought we had been successful…. Until  I met my colleague from China who had more than twice the participants. We then got thinking and decided to launch the event in the North and West. Also, in a country as large as India with as many agents across the country, we think it was necessary to start early and thus will open registrations a month ahead. Also gives us enough time to promote so that many will not loose out on any modules for having joined late.


What are the criteria for becoming a certified agent?
Retailing Agents need to secure 80% quiz points and a sell at least CHF 2600 worth of Swiss Travel Passes within the 6 month period of the campaign that starts from April and ends in September. Our GSAs and PSAs need to match the same criteria on quiz and sell Swiss Travel Passes worth CHF 10,200 at least to qualify for the lucky draw of the FAM and get certificates. 


What are the key incentive plans for tour operators and facilitators of the program?
We have 3 monthly prizes for the retailing agents as well as for our GSA/PSAs (consolidators) and then of course, there will be 30 winners going on a week-long FAM to Switzerland. These FAM winners get their certificates at Switzerland in a Gala event in the midst of winners from other countries where this competition has been replicated so far – China, GCC, ASEAN countries, Brazil, Australia-New Zealand. For instance, there were about 90 winners from around the world in 2015 for the Gala event and to think these countries had only their first or second season of the competition – we managed to take the full strength of 30 winners in only our third season.


How would the travelers benefit from this pass?
The Swiss Travel Pass (STP) is the most popular product amongst Indians. India became the largest source market for Swiss Travel System in 2015 ahead of any other market. The Swiss Travel Pass’ popularity in India comes from the fact that it allows you to travel by train, bus and boat throughout Switzerland. Kids below 16 yrs of age travel free if they are travelling with at least one parent (mother and/or father only). With access to 490 museums across Switzerland, upto 50% reduction on mountain excursions, unlimited local travel across about 80 cities/towns/villages on their public transportation, the great punctuality rate and….. this product has an endless list of benefits and most importantly, all this comes in a Single Ticket called the Swiss Travel Pass. It is the most convenient product that you can get for travelling around Switzerland.


What is the duration, costs involved and validity of the pass?
There are two varieties of STPs as far as validity is concerned – consecutive and flex. The Swiss Travel Pass (consecutive) is valid for the said number of days – 3, 4, 8 or 15 days – and all your travel should be completed within this period. The STP Flex allows you to travel any 3, 4 , 8 or 15 days within a period of one month giving you flexibility if your travel is not as frequent. Both of them, give you the benefits I already mentioned. Starting price for a 3 days pass is CHF 179 ….

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