LONDON, Feb. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is proud to announce the launch of its new international website, making travel simpler and smarter for overseas customers.
The new website coincides with the removal of pre-departure testing and quarantine rules for vaccinated people arriving in England or Scotland from 11 February 2022.
In a move that expands LNER’s global market, customers in 10 countries, including China, Japan, Spain, South Korea and Italy, are among the first to benefit when booking directly online.
LNER’s new search and booking engine offers international customers in those countries an option to purchase train tickets using their language and currency. The LNER.co.uk website will automatically detect those customers who are searching outside of the UK and will redirect them to the customised site to improve their online booking experience. The website launch comes as LNER reintroduces its full timetable, excluding pre-planned engineering works, meaning customers can discover destinations across the full 956-miles of East Coast route.
LNER has been working with travel tech company and rail retailer, Omio, to develop the site, which has the capability to operate in up to 20 languages and 26 currencies, including Euros, Korean Won and Japanese Yen or by using a payment method recognised in the home country.
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “Our mission is to transform rail travel, inspiring more people to explore the beauty of England and Scotland with our world-class Azuma trains. The launch of our international website means we are offering our customers the best possible experience throughout their journey from the moment they look to make a reservation, to their journey onboard to the time they arrive at their destination.“
“We are continuing to see strong demand for customers travelling with LNER for leisure, which is contributing to a strong recovery from the pandemic. Our new international website will now make it easier for even more visitors from overseas to travel with LNER and explore our fantastic destinations.”
Data from the Office for National Statistics show there were 40.9 million visits to the UK in 2019, with overseas visitors spending £28.4 billion, when almost a quarter travelled by rail during their stay.
Many of the top tourist destinations feature on LNER’s East Coast route, including London, Edinburgh, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Inverness. The LNER route is also home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, from the Scottish Highlands to the Northumberland coastline and the many towns and cities along the way.
Figures from the Office of Rail and Road further showed that LNER customer numbers in July to September 2021 recovered to 89.6 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, nearly 20 percentage points higher than any other operator, with LNER working hard to build on that success.
Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive at VisitBritain said: “This new initiative will help to boost future bookings by making it much easier for international visitors to plan their trips. Removing barriers to travel also promotes a message of welcome and will encourage visitors to explore more, travel further and stay longer, helping to drive tourism across more of the country, boosting local economies.”
VisitScotland is also welcoming the move. Data from 2019, pre-pandemic, shows there were 3.4 million overnight international trips to Scotland, of which around a third came from Europe, with a £2.5bn spend from overnight international trips of which 36 per cent was from Europe.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We welcome the launch of LNER’s new international website to make it easier for visitors to book and travel by rail. Train travel is a central part of creating a sustainable tourism destination in Scotland and we support any moves which will encourage its use, while helping to boost Scottish tourism as it recovers from the impact of COVID-19.”
LNER is welcoming even more customers back to rail in many ways. ‘Seat Sure’ enables customers to travel reassured they have the comfort of a seat for the duration of their journey. Once onboard, they’ll enjoy the very best in LNER hospitality and customer service, with a wide range of food and drink, sourced locally along the route, served to their seat in both First Class and Standard.
For visitors and customers looking for inspiration to make eco-friendly choices, LNER has launched a ‘Green Guide’ showcasing the best places to stay, eat and drink during trips to London, Newcastle or Edinburgh. https://www.lner.co.uk/our-destinations/travel-inspiration/green-guides/
LNER’s new Azuma fleet is delivering significant environmental benefits with trains running using overhead electric wires along the majority of the East Coast route, delivering the greenest form of motorised public transport.
To ensure customers can travel with confidence, enhanced levels of cleaning continue to be carried out at LNER managed stations and onboard trains.
Notes to Editors:
LNER’s website is initially offering bookings in the following languages, with more to be added to best reflect demand:
- LNER’s bi-mode Azuma fleet runs using overhead electric wires along the majority of the East Coast route, accounting for 96 per cent of customer kilometres, switching to operate under diesel power where necessary.
- Since their introduction in 2019, 49 million litres of diesel have been saved.
- Research shows for a journey between Edinburgh and London, a passenger journey on an Azuma train emits 97 per cent fewer emissions than a journey of the same length in a typical short-haul aircraft.
- Drone footage is available on request
London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is on a mission to transform rail travel for the customers and communities we serve. Our new modern Azuma fleet of trains will continue the LNER tradition of setting new, higher standards in comfort, reliability and customer experience. LNER calls at more than 50 stations along the East Coast route, totalling 956 miles including major towns and cities between London, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, North East of England and Scotland.
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at