Cologne, Germany-based Hotel Reservation Service (HRS), the leading hotel portal in Europe for business and private travelers, late last month announced its official expansion in the Asia Pacific with the opening of its regional headquarters in Singapore. Although the HRS office in Singapore has been operating for the past year, its designation as regional headquarters signals its recognition of the region as a high-growth market, especially with Singapore as a key MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) destination.
HRS CEO Tobias Ragge was recently in Singapore for the official announcement, where he shared his plans to drive adoption of his company’s online hotel booking and travel management solutions, which allows users to make direct reservations free of charge, offering immediate confirmation and cost savings of up to 30% on hotel bookings.
“Asia Pacific is a high-growth area and an important region for HRS to offer corporate travelers more choice and better service,” says Ragge, adding that their solution is uniquely positioned to benefit markets such as Asia Pacific which has a significantly higher proportion of independent accommodation providers. “We want to help companies here maximize profitability by cutting corporate travel costs through an efficient travel management system.”
“Asia is experiencing a strong economic growth and an unprecedented rise in the consumption of travel services. With the worlds’ biggest, youngest and most tech-friendly consumer group working and living in this region, it is a promising market to be in,” adds HRS Commercial Director of APAC, Christian Lukey. “While there are other players in the market, our global customers have been asking us to expand our services here for sometime already as they appreciate the modern and flexible approach HRS brings to corporate travel.”
HRS’ technology is well recognized within the travel industry, and its mobile applications cover multiple platforms including iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Ragge also predicts that many travel startups in the space are likely to not exist in the next few years. “It’s not just about having good technology, which we also have. It’s being able to have an extensive network, robust aggregated content and integration with global distribution systems (GDS) that is required to survive in this space,” he explains.