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Hotel solutions for corporate travel

1 Sep 2015 by Clement Huang

HRS is an online hotel reservations portal that aims to provide a "holistic, specialised end-to-end solution for corporates looking to book accommodation".

Launched over 40 years ago, HRS is today helmed by chief executive Tobias Ragge, who believes the company differs from most online travel agents (OTAs) in its focus on providing a service from start to finish and tackling key problems in the market.

"Hotel accommodation is a very complex industry", explains Ragge. "Firstly there is the problem of fragmentation. Eighty per cent of hotels are independents, which are usually not available in the global distribution systems that the TMCs (travel management companies) are using.

"So, how can we make sure that the corporate traveller has access to the entire marketplace? First, we've been acquiring lots of hotels [HRS currently has 300,000 hotels bookable online].

"Number two, we're integrating the content, not only on our systems but also on all other third party systems."

HRS targets what Ragge describes as the "leakage phenomenon", whereby corporates make changes to their travel plans outside the parameters of their programme.

To combat this, the company has signed deals with a range of partners including global distribution system (GDS) Sabre and Amadeus, and earlier this year a partnership with Travelport added 70,000 hotels onto the platform, with the idea of making it as easy for corporates to use as possible.

HRS also provides a payment solution to cut the unnecessary paperwork involved with claiming back expenses. Under a partnership with Amex, the company offers a cashless payment system, and also provides data reports for business to keep track of their expenses.

As a self-proclaimed "road warrior", Ragge is intimately aware of the daily struggles faced by corporate travellers and applies this knowledge to keeping things simple.

"What do you need as a business traveller?" Ragge asks. "For me, there needs to be no stress, because you‚re on a business mission and you want to focus all of your energy on that, without any travel hiccups. So that means the reservation needs to be confirmed, no overbookings – the basic things, because these can really mess up your schedule."

The company has also purposefully avoided branching into extra travel arrangements such as flights or car rental.

"Our priorities are very simple", says Ragge. "We want to help corporates solve the problems they have with accommodation."

For more information, visit en.hrs.com

Tamsin Cocks

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