Euro trains beat planes, says survey

The train is almost twice as popular as the plane for travellers from London and the South-east to Paris and Brussels, according to new research by MORI.

European Passenger Services claims a 40 per cent market share of the London to Paris and London to Brussels market. It is also claiming 20 per cent market growth. The survey comes a week after Eurostar’s first birthday.

The MORI research, commissioned by European Passenger Service’s agency, Young & Rubicam, questioned 279 adults in London and the South-east – Eurostar’s key target market. It shows 80 per cent awareness of the Eurostar service.

British Airways recently admitted that business on its London/Paris route had been hit by Eurostar. British Midland has also conceded that sales are down.

Eurostar is launching a push for short breaks in the new year, called “Secret Cities”, to promote travel to cities less than two hours from Paris.

Troubled car rental company Europcar Interrent has taken on former Hertz marketing director Steve Jones to replace Brian Farrugia as UK sales and marketing director.

Farrugia left Europcar last week. Jones quit Hertz in September, five months after it created an additional post, sales and marketing director.

Europcar Interrent is a joint venture between Volkswagen and tourism group Accor. It has been losing money and it is believed potential buyers are lining up. Accor confirms that it plans to review the agreement with Volkswagen before the end of this year.

The car rental market in the UK is estimated to be worth 645m in 1995 – an eight per cent growth year-on-year (MarketLine International).

Europcar has an 8.8 per cent share of the market, which is led by Avis with a 14.8 per cent share.

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