Eurostar hopes to attract more business travellers from smaller firms with the launch of a new product for the SME market.
The train operator has launched the Eurostar For Business online platform offering exclusive fares, benefits and promotions to SMEs whose travellers use Eurostar’s trains between London and the continent.
Paul Brindley, head of sales at Eurostar, told TTG the new online portal, which is free to use, could also be utilised by the SME’s travel management company (TMC) or business travel agent to buy train tickets.
“We have historically looked at working with larger corporate programmes for a number of years by offering a discount for certain levels of tickets,” he said.
“With Eurostar for Business, we want to support the return to business travel while knowing that travel budgets are tight.
“TMCs could buy through the portal – we have a number of TMCs booking public prices. Using Eurostar for Business will give them added benefits they have not had in the past.”
Eurostar for Business offers free upgrades for every 15 trips booked by the client, with special promotions and offers also available through the platform, as well as giving a “snapshot” of all business bookings.
Brindley admitted that holidaymakers were unlikely to return to using Eurostar’s services until there was a lifting in the current quarantine rules, which affect all of the train operator’s European destinations.
“People are waiting for the quarantine to start lifting,” he added. “There are concerns about going to city centres. There is a little bit of leisure going to see family and friends but not going on holiday. People want to stay in a bubble – we offer very good hygiene and wellbeing.
“Currently we’ve got a mixture of essential workers, some government travellers – a lot of markets and industries are still travelling but not in great numbers.”