Leaf peeping season is now in full effect and one of the most popular ways to view the foliage color is by rail. Here's how rail operators can use scenic train ride ticketing software to make the 2013 leaf peeping season easier to manage and more profitable.
Leaf Peeping By Rail
Known informally as "leaf peeping" the immensely popular activity of viewing the annual autumn color change is in full swing. Leaf peepers span a wide swath of demographics, but a commonality threads them together - making reservations for a tour to see the Nature at its best. Of course there are many tour types (self-guided, walking, etc.) but the scope of leaf peeping requires that a lot of ground be covered. Regions known for their foliage color changes can be very large, hundreds of square miles. Traveling by car is one way, but the deep forests have limited road access. That’s why scenic tours by train are so popular for leaf peeping.
The state of Colorado is well aware of how lucrative the fall foliage train tours are, as evidenced by a press release from earlier this week:
Colorado’s awesome autumn colors dazzle - Colorado is home to scenic and historic byways, high mountain passes, winding hiking and biking trails, national and state parks, and scenic railways, all of which offer many ways to soak in the amazing fall foliage that peaks between mid-September and mid-October [...] The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers a special Fall Photo Train (September 27-29), which is scheduled to coincide with optimal fall foliage colors. Amateur and professional photographers ride the train into the remote wilderness of the San Juan National Forest where photo opportunities abound.
The Colorado tourism board serves as cheerleader for the 2013 leaf peeping season attempting to attract as many tourism dollars as possible. The effort includes working closely with scenic rail tour operators. But Colorado isn't the only state promoting autumn color train tours...
In New York state, the Adirondack tourism board encourages families and legions of leaf peepers to take one of the many rail tours available.
Fall Foliage Train is another great option! The Fall Foliage Train runs from early September through mid-October between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake -- two picturesque locations with glimpses of rivers, wildlife and of course brilliant fall foliage along the way!
Compared to travel by car, viewing the color change by scenic train tour provides a near sensory overload because the tracks wind through the deep forest, far removed from the overcrowded roadside stops. So popular are the train tours, another type of overload can occur, one which only the train operator must bear - Foliage run reservation overload.
More Profitable Foliage Runs In Less Time
Train operators refer to scenic tours of the color change as “foliage runs” and treat them with nearly the same reverence as the other big holiday special events. The reverence comes from the substantial revenue foliage runs generate.
With so much of the passenger attention aimed outside of the train, seating becomes very important, specially seat pricing tiers. Window seats command a higher price, obviously, and viewing car seating with panoramic vistas, that much more. Add to that the brief window of time that the vibrant leaf colors occur - in some parts of the country it’s mere weeks - one can understand the need for scenic train ride ticketing software that makes the most of seasonal high demand in the least amount of time.
In the ticket event industry, seats being sold with tiered pricing is a very common practice (“nosebleed” seats, etc.). But, perhaps surprisingly, tiered pricing for seats is not a pervasive practice with scenic rail tours outside of the standard “first class” and “coach” conventions.
At traditional event venues like nightclubs and concert halls, seating is priced at very fine-grained levels based on how popular the event is as well as the patron’s view of the stage. The train car seating compartment can use the same two attributes for pricing that nightclubs and concert halls using the scenic train ride ticketing software. High demand foliage runs are a natural for fine-grained tiered pricing on a seat-by-seat basis - it’s all about the passengers view.
Also, a busy train operator will find the same scenic train ride ticketing software that enables tiered seating prices, can also reduce the amount of time it takes to get passengers on and off the train. In theory, a substantial reduction in passenger loading and unloading time could add another tour to the the days schedule, as long as it can be done safely.
Generating and distributing passenger manifests can take a lot time, especially if the task is performed using (physical) paper. Electronic manifests are faster and the best scenic train ride ticketing software generates the list automatically using ticket data. As tickets are sold online at the station ticket window, the names of the passengers, the train car and seat number, and any special instructions (like for those with physical disabilities) is used to create passenger manifests. Distribution of the passenger manifests, from the office to the train staff and conductors, can be by email which saves even more time.
ThunderTix Scenic Train Ride Ticketing Software
There is still another month or so of leaf peeping to be done, it is not too late to review your current scenic train ride ticketing software and see if it is meeting your needs.
ThunderTix’s scenic train ride ticketing software has the tools to create very fined-grained pricing tiers for seating based on the view. Our years of experience with creating custom interactive seating charts for concert halls applies directly to the seating on your foliage runs. Don't settle for just "first class" and "coach," - tailor every seating compartment for maximum revenue.
We are well aware that train operators are under Federal law to know exactly who is on board. Our technology not only enables compliance with passenger manifests, it integrates barcode ticket scanning to make the process nearly automatic.
We can also get you up and running with handheld barcode scanners to rent or buy. Once you start selling tickets online, we are sure you’ll never look back to the labor intensive paper tickets of yesteryear.
Just give us a call and we'll help you cho-cho-choose