The initiative joins a variety of creative activities that will put rail firmly in the spotlight throughout this year EYR, to encourage the use of rail by citizens, travellers and businesses and to contribute to the EU Green Deal goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050.
Travellers are becoming increasingly experienced and conscious of their environmental footsteps and are seeking ways to reduce their CO2 footprint, while still making new, unique, and meaningful experiences. This is where rail tourism can play its part providing a sustainable and eco-friendly mobility solution.
In the EU, rail is responsible for less than 0,5 percent of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the greenest forms of passenger transport. Despite these advantages, only about 10 percent of European residents choose rail as the main mode of transport for holidays or business travel in 2018. One way to increase this share is to make tourists more aware of the many benefits of rail travel, from the comfort on board and generous luggage allowance to the convenience of arriving right at the heart of their destinations.
Simultaneously, reuniting train travel and tourism will help to improve the management of tourist flows across Europe, reducing pressure on popular hotspots and promoting places outside busy tourism routes, while supporting the rejuvenation of rural areas and remote regions. Slow travel by rail will also allow tourists to engage more will local communities and promote an awareness of a common European identity along the way.