New market sectors boost Stena

NEW segments of the UK population have boosted numbers using rail and sail packages between East Anglia and Holland by 23% this year. Leading ferry operator Stena Line reported the trend-bucking year-on-year increase for January to June 2009 on its dutchflyer service across the North Sea via Harwich, itentifying the demographics of travellers contributing to the growth through research by economic consultancy Experian.

NEW segments of the UK population have boosted numbers using rail and sail packages between East Anglia and Holland by 23% this year.

Leading ferry operator Stena Line reported the trend-bucking year-on-year increase for January to June 2009 on its dutchflyer service across the North Sea via Harwich, itentifying the demographics of travellers contributing to the growth through research by economic consultancy Experian.

The dutchflyer service, which comprises rail travel from East Anglian rail stations or London Liverpool St to Harwich, ferry crossing to the Hook of Holland and onward travel to any station in Holland, has seen 39% growth between 2007 and 2008.

Its success comes against the backdrop of a 2.8% year-on-year decline in passengers leaving the UK out of BAA's seven airports, a 15.8% fall in Eurotunnel's numbers and a 5.3% decrease in English Channel ferry traffic.


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Experian found that 26.71% of dutchflyer users fell into the “urban intelligence” group, which subdivides into two main types of traveller:

n Counter cultural mix - young, well informed professionals; trendy city dwellers; some in good jobs and others with lower incomes; and

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n City adventurers - 20-something high-flying singles with pressurised, high-salary jobs; often London-based

Previously, travellers using Stena Line's dutchflyer service had been predominantly cash-poor students and backpackers.

Lars Olsson, Stena Line's commercial manager for travel on the North Sea, said: “The rising popularity of Stena Line's rail and sail service over the past year has been a significant trend in itself, but it's interesting to note that the main travellers contributing towards dutchflyer's growth are now young, trendy city-dwellers and ambitious, workaholic singles.

“These groups have started considering alternatives to air travel because they're less cash-rich and even more time-poor than in the past, so the overcrowded chaos at airports and exorbitant departure taxes are deterrents. The dutchflyer service links London and East Anglia with Dutch cities via rail stations and ferry decks from �35 one-way.

“We're seeing a particular increase in dutchflyer passengers taking the overnight ferries so that they arrive at their end destination early the next morning without having had to pay accommodation costs in euros or endure 4am check-in for a flight,” he added.

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