For the past few weeks, we’ve taken you behind the scenes of Midnight Trains with our beginners’ guide to designing trains. In every edition of Midnight Weekly, our aim is to outline every major step in our journey towards creating these ‘hotels on rails’. And while buying various key bits of equipment and designing everything in the right way are clearly very important parts of our development, the partnerships we establish with other firms are just as key if Midnight Trains is to become a real player in the European rail sector.
And on that note, we’re very pleased to announce that a little over two years before our first train gets going, we’ve just signed a major partnership with TravelPerk. And we’re chuffed: TravelPerk is the world’s number-one travel management platform for businesses. That means they’re the guys organisations have the most faith in when it comes to planning business trips for their employees. So you can get a sense of the ideas behind teaming up with them, this week we are handing the mic to Avi Meir, TravelPerk’s CEO. May it be a long and happy partnership, and over to you, Avi:
‘Sustainability seems to be the word on everybody’s lips these days. And with good reason! The sustainability trend started picking up pace before the pandemic, but Covid-19 accelerated the shift in mindset towards it. It made us develop a collective consciousness on environmental issues like climate change as the effects of global warming became more clearly visible. Images of the shrinking size of the polar ice caps began to drive the message home and the ‘Greta Effect’ took the world by storm. This is a defining decade for our planet as governments, international organisations and companies finally started to set real, scientifically-based targets to help mitigate climate change.
‘That applies equally, if not more so, to business travel. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been clear that we need to rethink and reevaluate the way we travel for business. I’ve always said that the meetings that matter happen in person, and business travel is here to stay because of our innate need for human connection. As businesses get back on the road, they’re looking more than ever for sustainable ways to connect in-person with their employees, customers and wider networks. So, how can we do that?
‘It’s about changing our mindset and making a conscious choice to travel for business sustainably with low-carbon alternatives to air travel like trains. It’s the European Year of Rail, an initiative proposed by the European Commission as part of the EU’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This initiative highlights the benefits of rail as a sustainable and smart means of transport, and is a testament to why and how the rail industry is modernising.
‘We’re already seeing some incredible new technologies that are being developed in the rail space. This includes live information about trains across the UK and EU, as well as innovative companies like Midnight Trains that will provide high-end rail experiences and an exceptional range of digital services from booking to arrival to its users in the largest European cities.
‘At TravelPerk, it’s no secret that we’re train-crazy. I’m talking a Sheldon Cooper- level love for trains. That’s why we’re constantly working to make it easier for our customers to book and travel by rail (although we don’t bore them with the details of track gauges and steam engines). We have the largest train inventory on the market and cover over 85 percent of the routes you can take across Europe and the USA. Providing travel options with the smallest environmental impact should be a must for all business travel management companies.
‘There is also a stronger need from organisations to get real-time data on carbon emissions from their business trips. Companies need a holistic view of their entire business travel-related environmental impact so they can gain actionable insights that empower them to improve their carbon efficiency, reduce costs and achieve their sustainability goals. Once companies get a true representation of their employees’ footprint, they can consciously take mitigating actions such as offsetting their carbon emissions in certified projects.
‘So in a nutshell, yes, business travel can be sustainable and this is why we are delighted to be partnering with Midnight Trains on our common mission to help companies build a responsible travel strategy. Midnight Trains have created a unique proposition combining accessible luxury, sustainability and convenience and we’re excited to have them on board. In-person meetings have never been more important for businesses but they’re looking for sustainable options to meet in person.’