Estonia’s leading online travel agency bookinghouse.net, which provides good deals on a 1000 airlines and 30,000 hotels worldwide, is now operational in Russian and English, in addition to Estonian.
“Bookinghouse.net’s ambition is to be the strongest online travel agency in the Baltics,” said Bookinghouse founder and co-owner Andres Liinat. “Nine months after we launched operations, we hold a noteworthy share of Estonia’s online market for airfares.”
Bookinghouse’s first goal was to become the leading online travel agency in Estonia and it has fulfilled that goal in just nine months. With the opening of a Russian-language version of its environment, the travel agency is vying for a share of Estonia’s Russian-language market. “It’s often forgotten that native speakers of Russian make up a notable part of our market of 1.4 million people,” says Liinat. “They, too, want rapid and convenient solutions from service providers.” Meanwhile, the English-language environment is attempting to target travel agency markets outside of Estonia. Bookinghouse.net also issues electronic tickets, allowing customers to purchase airfares from a great distance. Currently about half of the plane tickets purchased from Bookinghouse are issued in the form of electronic tickets. Estonians make up the primary contingent of Bookinghouse.net customers.
According to data from Amadeus Estonia, bookinghouse.net is the market leader among Estonia’s travel agencies in terms of tickets sold online. Bookinghouse, which is likewise Estonia’s first online travel agency, has 19,000 registered users, and 4,200 clients have been served in the nine months. Bookinghouse is the only travel agency based in Estonia which has no traditional sales outlets. Sales take place exclusively via the Internet. In addition to airfares, bookinghouse.net also sells accommodations and travel insurance.
Bookinghouse.net is an International Air Transport Association (IATA) agent, which gives it the right to sell and issue tickets for flights worldwide. Becoming an IATA agent is subject to various security, safety, corporate and management reliability and employee qualification standards.
Travel is one of the world’s fastest growing economic sectors. In the last few years, travel services purchased over the Internet have soared. Last year, Americans booked one-half of all of their travel via the Internet. In the UK, the figure was one-third and in Germany, one-quarter. The primary reasons for the popularity of online travel agencies are efficiency, convenience and affordability.