Are you looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? The Dutchies sure are! More and more people are using the international Dutch trains to travel. Ticket sales for international trains have grown by 13%, with the largest sales growth being the intercity train to Berlin at 19%.
Becoming more environmentally conscious?
Heike Luiten, director of NS International, said that people want to travel in an eco-friendly way and see that trains are the best option for that. Eke Eijgelaar, a researcher for sustainable travel does agree that it plays a role, but he says that there’s no evidence to back up that claim. Flight ticket sales have also been steadily growing, as for example, 2018 saw an increase of 3.3% of people flying from Schiphol to London Heathrow as compared to 2017.
What would it take to make that switch?
For one thing, they could start by making international travel with trains a whole lot less expensive. Heck, we would give anything to make even domestic travel easier without burning a hole through our pockets! Buying an international train ticket through the Dutch railways is heftier than if you buy it from another country.
They should also make it easier to travel by train internationally where popular tourist destinations can be easily reached. Luiten remarked to RTLNieuws that “the range of international connections has been expanded further.” Some popular tourist destinations can now be easily reached by train, like the aforementioned intercity to Berlin. We also have the new Thalys train that goes directly to Disneyland Paris, the Eurostar to London, and trains that frequently go to Brussels.
But is that enough? Shorter travel times would also influence a lot of travellers’ decision to switch, says Eijgelaar. Imagine having only a weekend to take a holiday and spending most of your time-off just getting to your destination and back – worst holiday ever. But of course, it’s hard to offer trains as an alternative when you want to go far.
The biggest driving factor for me remains reducing my carbon footprint, but my options are limited because my holiday budget is not very extensive. What about you? What would it take for you to make that switch? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image by Flickr/ Frans Berkelaar