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LNER has launched international website making travel simpler for overseas visitors


By Gavin Musgrove

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The LNER service is a vital connection for the strath with England.
The LNER service is a vital connection for the strath with England.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has just launched its new international website making travel arrangements simpler for overseas customers.

Customers in 10 countries, including China, Japan, Spain, France, South Korea and Italy, are among the first to benefit when booking directly online.

LNER’s new search and booking engine offers international customers in those countries an option to purchase train tickets using their language and currency.

The LNER.co.uk website will automatically detect those customers who are searching outside of the UK and will redirect them to the customised

site to improve their online booking experience.

The website launch comes as LNER reintroduces its full timetable, excluding pre-planned engineering works, meaning customers can discover destinations across the full 956-miles of East Coast route.

LNER has been working with travel tech company and rail retailer, Omio, to develop the site, which has the capability to operate in up to 20 languages and 26 currencies, including Euros, Korean Won and Japanese Yen or by using a payment method recognised in the home country.

David Horne, managing director at LNER, said: “Our mission is to transform rail travel, inspiring more people to explore the beauty of England and Scotland with our world-class Azuma trains.

"The launch of our international website means we are offering our customers the best possible experience throughout their journey from the moment they look to make a reservation, to their journey onboard to the time they arrive at their destination.

“We are continuing to see strong demand for customers travelling with LNER for leisure which is contributing to a strong recovery from the pandemic.

"Our new international website will now make it easier for even more visitors from overseas to travel with LNER and explore our fantastic destinations.”

Data from the Office for National Statistics show there were 40.9 million visits to the UK in 2019, with overseas visitors spending £28.4 billion, when almost a quarter travelled by rail during their stay.

The LNER service connects the strath with the Central Belt, North-East of England and London.

Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive at VisitBritain said: “This new initiative will help to boost future bookings by making it much easier for international visitors to plan their trips.

"Removing barriers to travel also promotes a message of welcome and will encourage visitors to explore more, travel further and stay longer, helping to drive tourism across more of the country, boosting local economies.”

VisitScotland is also welcoming the move.

Data from 2019, pre-pandemic, shows there were 3.4 million overnight international trips to Scotland, of which around a third came from Europe, with a £2.5bn spend from overnight international trips of which 36 per cent was from Europe.

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: “We welcome the launch of LNER’s new international website to make it easier for visitors to book and travel by rail.

"Train travel is a central part of creating a sustainable tourism destination in Scotland and we support any moves which will encourage its use, while helping to boost Scottish tourism as it recovers from the impact of Covid-19.”

Meanhile figures from the Office of Rail and Road further showed that LNER customer numbers in July to September 2021 recovered to 89.6 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, nearly 20 percentage points higher than any other operator.

For visitors and customers looking for inspiration to make eco-friendly choices, LNER has launched a ‘Green Guide’ showcasing the best places to stay, eat and drink during trips to London, Newcastle or Edinburgh.

The guide is available at https://www.lner.co.uk/our-destinations/travel-inspiration/green-guides/


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