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Our history

From a family-owned business to a Global player in the travel industry

HRS has played a pioneering role in boosting the popularity of online hotel booking. Founded in 1972 as a service provider for booking hotel rooms during trade fairs, the Cologne-based, family-run company was initially located in a former greengrocer’s shop and had just one employee and two telephone lines. Today, HRS has a firmly established reputation as the leading hotel expert, with a client base that includes several global players and Fortune 500 companies such as Google, China Mobile, Hitachi, Huawei, Alibaba, and Panasonic. The Group’s global presence is continually expanding, with more than 1,500 employees in 28 branches worldwide, including Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Paris, London, Mumbai, São Paulo, and New York. With around 350,000 hotels and over 480,000 holiday homes and apartments, HRS finds hotel accommodation for both private and business travellers all over the world. The HRS Group’s head quarter is in Cologne, Germany.

Milestones of a success story


HRS is founded

Robert Ragge founds HRS, a travel agency service for booking hotel rooms during trade fairs, in a former greengrocer's shop.


Electronic bookings

HRS is the first online reservation system to support interactive videotext, a new service at the time, making it the first to allow electronic bookings.


Online booking

HRS sets up its first online hotel database on the new medium of the Internet, helping to make online booking popular.


Expansion in China

HRS expands its business internationally and opens its first foreign branch office in Shanghai's financial district in China.


Continuing growth

The number of HRS employees exceeds 100 for the first time in its history.


European expansion

HRS opens offices in the European cities including Paris, London, and Warsaw. The number of employees increases to more than 300.


New generation takes over

Tobias Ragge assumes management of HRS from his father, Robert Ragge, and restructures the company step-by-step to form the current group of companies.


First subsidiary for the Group

HRS acquires the Alpine portal Tiscover, which has its headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria.


Mobile bookings

HRS breaks new ground in the area of mobile bookings, becoming the world's first hotel portal in the App Store.


Entering new markets

HRS opens further branch offices in Rome, Istanbul, and Moscow.


Bookings via Facebook

As Germany's number one hotel portal, HRS integrates a specially developed booking tool, with offers updated in real time, into its own Facebook fan page.


Further growth

HRS acquires the hotel reservation service HOTEL DE, which is headquartered in Nuremberg. The number of employees increases above 1,000.


Central service for business clients

HRS offers its business clients the new “intelligent sourcing” service, which makes it possible for them to sustainably and significantly reduce the cost of their overnight stays.


Global influence

HRS agrees to strategic partnerships with the central Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Amadeus and Sabre, therefore enabling global reach of its content.


Holiday accommodations

HRS becomes the sole owner of HolidayInsider AG and continues the leading booking platform for holiday accommodations in the DACH region as HRS Holidays.


New business areas

HRS launches the vacation house portal ”HRS Holidays” in the DACH region and invests in meetago, the MICE specialist for online bookings for conferences and events.


Welcome to the Big Apple

HRS opens its first subsidiary in the USA, where the New York City office acts as the headquarters. During the same year, the branch office in Mumbai, India also opens.


A global group of companies

The HRS Group now includes the online portals HRS, HRS Holidays, HOTEL.DE, and Tiscover, and employs more than 1,500 people in 28 subsidiaries around the world.

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