Ffestiniog Travellers Choose the Train to Resume their Wanderlust

Created: 05 December 2023
2023 has seen bookings for its escorted rail holidays comfortably return to pre-pandemic levels, but markedly it has seen a massive growth in the sale of EU rail tickets this year - up 56% compared to 2022 and with a value increase of 31%. Its Tailored Rail Tour holidays have followed a similar story, up 38% on last year with a huge value increase of 85%.

Ffestiniog Travel General Manager Maria Cook comments: “We expected 2023 to be the year where we traded out of the pandemic and returned to pre-Covid levels, but bookings have surpassed our expectations.

“I think it is due to a combination of factors. The mature travellers are certainly regaining their confidence to travel again and are determined to make up for the long period where they couldn’t holiday beyond the UK. Rail travel is proving itself to be the ‘green’ travel of choice for those who are very conscious about the climate crisis and want to reduce their carbon footprint by taking the train instead of the plane.

“Our EU Rail Ticketing department has seen an increase in private group bookings among older like-minded friends and special interest societies. We have also received more bookings from cross- generational family groups who want to travel to Europe by rail. Newly introduced nightly rail services across the Continent have also made it more attractive to reach further European destinations by rail.

“Our Tailored Rail services create tours to destinations around the UK, Europe and worldwide, but almost 50% (48%) of our 2023 tailor made holidays were European based.”
The much-improved trading year is particularly welcomed by Ffestiniog Travel, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024, having escorted its very first rail tour to Switzerland in October 1974.

Maria Cook added: “There was a point during the pandemic when our 50th Anniversary year became a maybe, but we have managed to navigate our way out of the worst crisis to hit the travel industry to reach our major milestone in a strong financial position. This is thanks to our older climate-conscious travellers who have regained their wanderlust and of course to our small travel team of just nine consultants who actively provide a hands on personal service.”


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Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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