More travellers are taking to rail, bus and car according to recent reports.
It would appear that the “ground based” sector in travel is enjoying good times at the moment and entrepreneurs and investors are heading towards the business of selling air tickets online to trains, buses and car hire.
This is not a small market by any means. Globally the rail and coach business is worth over $250Bn and the baulk of tickets are bought online. The main issue to overcome however is with the local networks. More specifically, the problem is that many travellers are simply confused by the timetables, routes and systems of local buses, trains and coaches. It is a problem that needs some serious investment but perhaps the industry could start by offering a service that makes it clearer and personalises the process. They would feel less worried or scared about using local networks knowing that they have personal assistance along the way.
The clear advantage ground based travel has over the airlines is that it becomes part of the travel experience. People get a real feel for the country travelling by road and rail and they meet other like-minded travellers and locals along their route.
There is a way to go however to bring this into the mainstream and companies like Skyscanner and Expedia need to jump on board. I think this will happen.
There is also a growing demand for personal drivers ,with new start- ups connecting tourists to English-speaking car drivers. People from certain countries like the idea of having someone drive them, show them around, and help with the local language.