April 22, 2024

Eurostar targets SMEs with booking portal

By Bev Fearis, published 16/09/20

Eurostar is targeting SMEs with a new dedicated portal and rewards scheme for multiple bookings.

Called ‘Eurostar for Business’, a single dashboard will show all bookings in one place, making it easy for users to track budgets or make changes to existing bookings.

The platform will provide access to tailored content, exclusive promotional fares, and will reward users for their loyalty with free upgrades or tickets.

An upgrade to Standard Premier is offered after every 15 return trips in Standard class while an upgrade to Business Premier is offered after every 15 return trips in Standard Premier. Customers will get a free Business Premier ticket after 15 return trips are booked in Business Premier.

The first 400 UK organisations to sign up will get eVouchers worth £25.

The portal was launched after research by the rail operator found 27% of its direct online bookings are for business travel.

“We realised we had around 140,000 customers travelling for business who were booking directly with us that we hadn’t necessarily engaged with,” said Paul Brindley, Indirect Sales and Distribution.

He said these customers book regularly but don’t spend enough to qualify for the corporate discounts enjoyed by around 300 companies spending over £75,000 a year with the rail operator.

Just over a third of these smaller companies will use an admin to book their trips, but Brindley said any loyalty rewards would be passed to the business travellers and could not be used by the bookers.

Customers who are also members of Club Eurostar will be able to benefit from both schemes.

Since quarantine was re-introduced for arrivals from France, Belgium and the Netherlands, Eurostar has seen demand dip dramatically. Capacity had already been cut by half due to social distancing rules.