Descending from the snowy streets of Paris to the sweltering shores of Sydney last week, was Rail Europe’s brand new President & Chief Executive, Dau-Khoi Nguyen.

Four months into the new gig, Nguyen was excited for his first visit Down Under, but before he could take a ferry tour around Sydney’s iconic Harbour, he made a detour to Barangaroo for a chat about the rail industry’s many successes and a few of its shortcomings.

Speaking to local media, the CEO with a 20-year history in the technology industry, said he was surprised to find rail’s ticketing and booking systems were still hanging on the outskirts of the 20th century, which he believes, presents a major challenge for increasing sales.

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Image: Rail Europe/Facebook

“Some operators are using black and white screens… and they’re still physically stamping tickets,” he explained the situation.

Nguyen said that while some rail operators are technologically ahead of the rest with their use of e-tickets, he believes streamlining rail tech would better accommodate the sector’s key partners, Travel Advisors.

“Trade is the core asset for us, and it’s because of them that we understand that we need to be on par with technology to make it easier for them to sell.”

Dau-Khoi Nguyen, Rail Europe President & Chief Executive

Image: Rail Europe/Facebook

Ideally, Nguyen would like to streamline rail technology before predictions of international travel’s drastic growth over the next decade come into fruition.

In the meantime, Rail Europe will focus on improving the quality of services for customers and trade partners – who he described as “key to developing rail’s presence in Australia – through new offerings such as complimentary museum tours.

“When people come to us, we want them to experience different factors.”

Dau-Khoi Nguyen, Rail Europe President & Chief Executive

Australia is currently Rail Europe’s second largest market, overtaking South Korea, which now sits in third. Americans are the organisation’s leading customers.

 

When was the last time you took a rail journey?