SOURCE: Rail Europe

June 22, 2006 13:55 ET

When in Europe, Americans Take the Train; Findings of Leisure Traveler Survey

WHITE PLAINS, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 22, 2006 -- What is Americans' Favorite Way to Travel in Europe?

According to a recent survey of more than 2,500 leisure American travelers more than 70% prefer to tour Europe by train. The survey was commissioned by Rail Europe and conducted by the Menlo Consulting Group. At home Americans still have a love affair with the automobile, and long-distance travel by air is an unavoidable necessity. But when they visit Europe, only 16% of American travelers prefer to travel by car, and only 13% prefer air travel.

Most American tourists in Europe visit more than one country on their trip, so getting from place to place becomes an important consideration. Rather than spend their vacations in congested airports or behind the wheel, Americans prefer to travel by train. Menlo Consulting Group reports that Americans consider trains to be the most enjoyable, least expensive, safest, and most convenient way to travel in Europe.

With sleek new high-speed trains crisscrossing the continent, train travel in Europe is no longer just for backpackers. "The stereotype that traveling Europe by rail is for students and backpackers is outdated," observes Sarita Skidmore, Menlo Consulting Group President. "Our research shows that more than half of American train travelers in Europe are age 50 or older and come from upper income areas."

American rail enthusiasts want to make every vacation day count by planning their train travel in Europe well in advance. Two-thirds of American rail fans would purchase tickets before leaving home, and an equal number would consider booking a luxury train trip.

"We are delighted that this research confirms our belief that Americans prefer rail for traveling throughout Europe," said Fabrice Morel, President and CEO of the Rail Europe Group. "For more than 75 years Rail Europe has been providing North Americans with the necessary planning and booking tools for affordable European rail travel. We are unwavering in our commitment to provide customers with the service and products they want and need before they go to Europe to make their travels as enjoyable as possible."

These findings are from Menlo Consulting Group's travel industry-leading study, TravelStyles® USA 2006. Based on a survey of more than 2,500 international leisure travelers, TravelStyles® addresses the attitudes, interests, and behaviors of international travelers.

About Rail Europe

Rail Europe is the largest North American distributor of European rail passes and tickets. To find out more or to book rail travel, contact a travel agent or visit Rail Europe's web site at or call an experienced rail reservation agent at 1-888-382-7245.

About Menlo Consulting Group

Since its founding in 1986, Menlo Consulting Group (MCG) has focused on helping clients understand international travelers. Recognized worldwide for its expertise in global travel and tourism, MCG helps clients gain a competitive edge through custom-designed branding, strategy consulting, and research projects as well as through TravelStyles®, the travel industry's most respected program of multi-client research with international travelers. Visit or call 650-941-4458.

Photos: High-resolution photos of European trains may be downloaded by the media at

Contact Information

  • Press contact:
    Chris Lazarus
    A.J. Lazarus Associates, Inc
    (718) 789-1500
    Email Contact

    Noelle Weyer
    Menlo Consulting Group
    Email Contact