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The Map of Vipservice

Vipservice: A 33,000-Km-Long Journey

In 2019, Vipservice holding announced a turn to globalisation. Our goal is to follow our clients, who work in 11 different countries and speak 13 languages. In 2018, we opened our first ever office in Europe, however, our representation in Russia and the CIS countries is far more impressive. Today, we have offices in 10 cities of our country and neighbouring countries. The total distance between them is 33,000 km. Such a wide coverage deserves its own map – this is why we launched our project Map of Vipservice. 

Let us embark together on an exciting journey across the Map of Vipservice!

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Novosibirsk in the Atlas Vipservice

An administrative centre of Siberian Federal District, Novosibirsk is the third most populated city of Russia. The young city is reputed to be 'rapid' and 'moving relentlessly towards the future.' It boasts constructivism architecture and original museums, such as the museum of happiness or of the sun. When someone says 'Novosibirsk,' we picture the Red Torch Theatre or the largest in Russia Opera and Ballet Theatre. Novosibirsk is also the city of science, hosting over 50 universities and Akademgorodok ('science town' in Russian) with experts in cutting-edge technologies. In addition to that, Novosibirsk has a wonderful zoo, which is also considered as one of the best in the country. 

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Vipservice Novosibirsk

Vipservice Novosibirsk was the first regional branch. It opened back in 2005 and became a separate legal entity in 2009.

At the year-end 2018, Vipservice Novosibirsk made the top 100 Russian agencies working with S7 airlines. In Novosibirsk, they are ranked in the top three.

Lyudmila Ivanicheva, the permanent head of the office, is doing her best for Vipservice she loves so much. "What I like about Vipservice is that we always come first. If you come first, you have an advantage. Back in 2007, when I joined Vipservice, it was the only company to conclude direct contracts with nine leading foreign airlines. Today, we benefit from our innovative technologies. The travel market is using optimisation tools extensively, but Vipservice has been and continues to be number one in this domain," says Lyudmila.

HotelStar back-end development

In Akademgorodok, six developers are creating a special Vipservice project, the HotelStar. The successful collaboration has been going on for 1.5 years. The lead of the Novosibirsk team is Boris Bezborodov, leading developer.

"Ever since the Great Patriotic War, they dispatched the best engineers in the back country, to Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. There were the best technical universities in Russia. Now we see children and grandchildren with these 'gens of talent' grow up and graduate. Novosibirsk is especially famous for its experts, as the best Russian developers live and work in Akademgorodok. The most advanced IT companies, like Yandex, are opening their offices in there. Usually, the guys from Novosibirsk are involved in back-end development. We haven’t broken up with this trend, and our people are the best!" says Sergey Strelnikov, author of HotelStar project.



Rostov-on-Don on the Map of Vipservice


Rostov-on-Don is the largest city in the southwest of Russia, the administrative centre of the Southern Federal District, one of the leading scientific (48 institutions of higher education!) and industrial regions of Russia, a port serving 5 seas, and a City of Military Glory. The modern Rostov-on-Don is a city of contrasts with colourful facades of business centres peeking through the rock-solid merchants' mansions, where the traditions of orthodox Cossacks peacefully coexist with customs of the Caucasus. Rostov-on-Don is quite literally one of the greenest cities of Russia with the country's largest Botanical garden. Moreover, one cannot help but admire the vibrant local markets, and the wonderful sculptures of characters from the novels of Mikhail Sholokhov ("Rostovchanki", "Nakhalyonok", "Ded Schukar") on the waterfront of Don River.

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Hermitage and Don Quixote hotels

Vipservice opened its first hotels in Rostov-on-Don in 2007, on the initiative of Tatiana Nechepaeva, head of a local travel company. Tatiana was inspired by a beautiful building on the banks of the Don, so similar to the St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum. Back then Rostov had hardly any hotels, so the construction of the new object was considered a strategic step for the city and included in the local tourism development programme. Among the visitors of the opening ceremony for the first Hermitage 4* hotel with 31 rooms was the President of the Rostov-on-Don Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The opening of the Don Quixote 3* with 87 rooms near the Hermitage was marked by a visit of the city mayor. This year the low-cost hotel celebrates its 5th anniversary. It has an excellent rating of 8.7, and Tatiana is convinced that the hotel is unrivalled in Rostov within its category.

'The majority of our guests are business travellers and MICE tourists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Samara and other neighbouring cities. Quite often they work in the pharmaceuticals and retail industries, as well as embassies. A large number of sports people also choose our accommodation: there is a stadium across the river, which has been renovated for international sports games. We're known for serving delicious local dishes: Don herring, zander, Ukha (fish soup), borscht with salo (fatback) and garlic, Solyanka soup, and seasonal fruits. And, of course, the beautiful views of Don River make us stand out among the competition', Tatiana says.

Call Centre of subagent business (Portbilet):

The Call Centre started its operations in 2014. Back then the team had only 10 operators, and today this number has gone up to 44. The Call Centre provides support to the clients of Portbilet, deals with refunds in GDS, and customer complaints. Tatiana Yemelyanova is the Head of this division.

The key indicators of the Call Centre's successful performance are the timely resolution of the incoming requests and positive feedback from the subagents. We aim to provide personalised approach to each Portbilet client. Today we spend a maximum of 15 minutes per request, even during the peak season. Compared to 2017, the Call Centre has grown the number of processed requests by over 19 thousand. As of June 2019, we resolved a total of 88,333 requests.
'On February 20 2019, we launched the first-ever subagents questionnaire on the quality of the service we offer. 57 companies were involved in the survey. For the most part, the feedback from our subagents has been very positive! Some even expressed their gratitude for us "putting common sense above protocols", which is extremely kind', says Zhanna Gabdulina, Deputy Head of the division.

Vipservice South

In 2014, Vipservice partnered with the leading agency in the south of Russia, the Rostov-on-Don Maverick. This allowed Vipservice Holding to expand its reach, and Maverick gained access to the online ticketing system for passengers, the Portbilet system. This has multiplied the sales volumes of the local office by nearly a factor of 4. As of today, Vipservice South includes around 440 subagents all over Russia, has 700 corporate clients and 26 points of sale. The subagent business has offices in Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov Region, Krasnodar, Moscow Region and Moscow itself. The division's headquarters are located in Rostov-on-Don.




Yekaterinburg on the Map of Vipservice

Yekaterinburg is the largest administrative, cultural, research and educational centre of the Ural region. The city's history goes back to the early 18th century. During the epoch of the Russian Empire, Yekaterinburg was one of the first industrial cities to emerge in the country. The city of endless travel opportunities attracts tourists and business people with its magnificent architecture, numerous cultural events, commercial potential, and last but not least — shopping options, as the Ural capital has more shopping centres than any other Russian city. Popular sights include the interactive Yeltsin Center, Weiner Street with its interesting statues (to Michael Jackson, Russian TV series character Gena Bukin, etc.), Istorichesky Skver (Historical Square), and gorgeous manors that belonged to wealthy landlords.

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Gorod Otel Hostel

In 2012, Vipservice opened Gorod Otel, a hostel chain. The hostels are located inside the buildings of railway stations in Moscow and Yekaterinburg.

The Gorod Otel chain offers affordable and comfortable accommodation with easy access to transport and city infrastructure. Tourists have the option to book a stay of 6+ hours at a competitive price. The rooms are equipped with all the necessary amenities: TV, showers, free Wi-Fi for the guests, and other conveniences. Family rooms for guests with children are also available.




Irkutsk on the Map of Vipservice

Irkutsk is an old Russian city situated in the east of Siberia, in a picturesque valley of the Angara River. It is the administrative centre of the Irkutsk region and one of the most well-developed cities in Eastern Siberia in terms of its economic, cultural and scientific life. Irkutsk is first and foremost known for its proximity to the unique Lake Baikal. Secondly, the city is famous for its lace-like buildings – the memorials of wooden architecture which you will find in the centre of the city (over 680 historical and cultural monuments and cathedrals). The Irkutsk's District 130 combines historical and modern architecture. Some of the renovated wooden houses are now offering dishes of Buryat and Russian cuisine. It is also the venue for the Baikal International Economic Forum, a reputable platform for business communication and environmental protection. 

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Vipservice Irkutsk

Vipservice Eastern Siberia LLC has been involved in selling air and railway tickets since 1999. The company had originally been called Tesis Tour LLC, until it was restructured and became part of Vipservice Holding in 2015.

Thanks to its local experience, established network and a strong team of professionals, in 2015 Vipservice Eastern Siberia became the holding's regional representative promoting technological and online projects. At the same time, it was obvious that the holding required an IT Factory in order to stay competitive on the market. Continuous technological upgrades offer plenty of new opportunities for all local businesses.

"Vipservice Irkutsk is now the formalising agent for a group of energy and oil companies in Eastern Siberia. We have an extensive network of subagents in the Portbilet system, and our specialists offer 24-hour technical support and maintenance. We are very grateful to Vipservice Moscow, it's a big honour for us to be a part of such team, and we approach it with full responsibility", the company director Veronika Litasova says.  



Kazakhstan on the Map of Vipservice

Successfully located in the heart of the continent, combining a small part of Europe and a big piece of Asia, Kazakhstan can justly be considered a unique country, which at the same time keeps up with the times. Despite the rapid pace of development of Kazakhstan, its main attraction was and remains the Great Steppe—a 'landmark' of the Republic. In 2019, the country's first President Nursultan Nazarbayev left his post (he ruled for almost 30 years) and its capital Astana was renamed to Nursultan.

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Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, is the largest city of the Republic. It is the most secular city of Kazakhstan and at the same time its largest financial, economic and cultural centre. Almaty is famous for its Medeo mountain ice complex which considered to be the largest in the world, the picturesque Green Bazaar and a huge number of fountains.

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Biletix.kz + Portbilet.kz

A Kazakh agency, which is headed by Maksat Tabylganov since 2008, applied for Vipservice technologies in 2016. This was preceded by several years of attempts to create an online ticket service. Our future partners have even grown to consolidators of railway tickets. But, according to Maksat, the technological expertise in the Republic at that time was clearly insufficient.

'After the first Skype conversation with Aleksandr Sizintsev, the head of Biletix at that time, we realised that we want only this platform. First, Aleksandr Yurievich is our fellow-countryman, he is from Almaty. Secondly, the Biletix technology is impressive. For Biletix, the most important reason, probably, was that our eyes were shining with the desire to develop. We have been trying to create a platform ourselves for so long, and we were very happy that we found great partners and will be able to develop our business, keep up with the times. We completed the merger by April 2017. However, the biggest ticket sales are yet to come', Maksat said.

In 2016, there was a personal meeting of Maksat Tabylganov with Vipservice shareholders at the Biletix event. They decided to use the agency experience and influence of new colleagues to launch the Portbilet project on the Kazakhstan market. Today, Portbilet in Kazakhstan already uses direct Vipservice contracts and settles accounts in the national currency—tenge.

'We are still delighted with the system, every day we open new opportunities in it. From the start to today, we have reached the sale of 2,000 railway tickets and 500–700 air tickets per month. We have 160 partners. But we have not yet completed the transition of sale of railway tickets from our old platform. By the end of the year, this figure will grow to 7–8 thousand tickets per month and the number of partners will grow to 250. In addition, now there are 3 low-cost airlines in the country. If we connect them all, sales will grow multi-fold', Maksat believes.

Today, Kazakhstan's partners are drivers of the online travel market in the Republic. They were the initiators of the first profile conference in 2017 and became co-organisers of three industry events by 2019.



Armenia on the Map of Vipservice

Armenia is a land of mountains and medieval monasteries that remembers the Great Flood and the fall of the ancient civilisations; it's the birthplace of the best brandy and fairy-tale carpets. Tourists come to Armenia for its amazing mountain views, the abundance of truly authentic UNESCO World Heritage sites and the genuine friendliness of the locals.

Yerevan is the capital and the largest city of Armenia. Founded in 782 BCE, it is one of the world's most ancient cities. Located in the north-east of the Ararat Valley, Yerevan is surrounded by the Caucasus Mountains. Its major sights are concentrated in the city centre. Here, many houses are made of rose tuff stones, hence Yerevan's popular name—'The pink city'. Many travellers leave sunny Yerevan with an impression of a city of never-ending vacations.

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Biletix.am + Portbilet.am

Armenia's largest flight aggregator became Vipservice's partner as the Holding's first foreign customer for the Portbilet service. For which purposes a white label was created from ground zero. There are now some 170 legal entities in the sub-agent network of Armenian partners. The merge with Biletix began in 2018. A colourful ad campaign headed by popular Armenian actor Sargis Grigoryan was launched in autumn of that year, heralding the official start of sales.

'We position ourselves as the first Armenian-speaking online flight booking service. We offer tickets in the national currency, i.e. cheaper than global flight aggregators. Moreover, we accept payments with Armenia's most popular bank card. Our website is user-friendly, allowing you to book your flight in just a few steps. In addition, we offer an 8-hour help support service in Armenian and 24-hour support operating from Moscow', points out Arsen Chilingaryan, Head of Biletix.am.




Belarus on the Map of Vipservice

A country of cornflowers and white storks, Belarus inspires poets and artists with its natural sites such as Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Białowieża Forest) and Polesye and places of military glory located in Minsk and Brest. Haunted medieval castles, ruins of once impregnable strongholds, Catholic and Orthodox churches—even in the most run-of-the-mill town of Belarus you will be able to find at least one building with a history worth writing a short story, if not a full-fledged romantic saga.

Minsk, the capital of the Republic of Belarus, is its industrial, cultural and research centre. The city is famous for the Trajeckaje Pradmiescie (Trinity Suburb) with its unique 16th–19th-century buildings as well as the Mound of Glory and the futuristic diamond-shaped National Library of Belarus.

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Biletix.by

Vipservice's first partner project in Belarus was with Belarusian Railway, the country's national railway company that operates an extensive rail network and provides national and international rail transportation services. Since its launch in the Republic in 2017, Biletix has been successfully developing its online booking service with a focus on new online booking possibilities, instantaneous payment and issuance of rail shipping documents.

'When we were just about to enter the market of Belarus, we were told that it would be hard. The system of offline bookings via ticket offices at railway stations or via travel agencies is particularly developed in Belarus. Aware of the need to provide their passengers with new, up-to-date services, Belarusian Railway's top management invited us as their partner. We are expecting to sell over 100,000 rail tickets through Biletix.by and our partner network in 2019. Our experience tells us that our users have embraced this service and now we need to expand it with new products such as flight and hotel booking, insurance, information services and travellers' reviews and tips. It's the future of online travel agencies', explains Igor Konstantinov, General Director of Biletix.



Khabarovsk on the Map of Vipservice

Khabarovsk is one of the largest industrial, research and cultural centres of the Russian Far East, closely knit with Japan, China, Korea and Canada through a system of twin towns and sister cities. Khabarovsk has entered competitions against Russia's federal subjects several times, coming first as the country's most comfortable city. The 5,000-rouble banknote features the local sights such as Khabarovsk Bridge, the Amur Cliff and the monument to Russian general Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky. In its most recent history, the city has seen a revival after hosting the EU-Russia summit in 2009.

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Paxport office in Khabarovsk

Paxport joined Vipservice in 2018. By then, the company had already had its regional office in Khabarovsk. It employs five people led by Khabarovsk-born Nadezhda Terpelovskaya (Development and Customer Acquisition Department). The office's main goal has originally been to provide 24-hour customer support. In particular, it is responsible for the night service, when it's day time in Khabarovsk and night in Moscow. Besides, 60% of Paxport's customers are in the regions and it's the Khabarovsk office that services them.

However, the office has proved its efficiency over the year, attracting 20 major customers from Krasnoyarsk to the Russian Far East. According to Paxport company's executives, the Khabarovsk office employees' competitive edge is their desire to work. They have to face the regional systems where large local companies agree to work with technologically underdeveloped poor-service agents and ticket offices in return for kickbacks. But Paxport representatives are convinced: 'The technologies and proper service will win!'


St. Petersburg on the Map of Vipservice


The cultural capital of Russia, northern Venice, the creation of Peter the Great are the common names of St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg, located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, at the mouth of the Neva River, is the second largest city in Russia. It is one of the world's most beautiful megacities that attracts travellers from all over the world. In 2015 alone, the city was visited by over 3.7 million Russian tourists and 2.8 million foreign tourists. Being a major economic, transport, cultural and scientific centre, St. Petersburg, with its 5 million inhabitants, also remains a heart of Russian history. It is no coincidence that the centre of North Palmyra with related landmarks in the Baroque and Neoclassical style are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Winter Palace—a day is not enough to list the sights of the "city on the water".
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Vipservice Corporated LLC

Vipservice Corporated LLC was established in St. Petersburg in 2004. Initially, the number of employees was only 5 or 6, although over the entire period of operation the office staff grew to 80 employees, and currently amounts to 35 professionals. Vipservice Corporated LLC serves 1,500+ local customers and has its own sub-agent network of 30 points of sale. The company as an independent legal entity ranks top in St. Petersburg by sales of airline tickets of Aeroflot, Lufthansa and several other large airlines.

This year, Vipservice Corporated LLC celebrated its 15th anniversary.

"We are proud of our experienced team, with most staff employed for 10–15 years. We are proud of our customers from various industries—energy, automotive and many others. Despite the fact that today we provide our services to such big companies as Gazprom, T‑Systems, LSR, EMERCOM, we are also grateful to and value the medium and small business customers, for it was them who supported us in the years of crisis," says Deputy General Director Vladimir Efimov. According to the top manager, one of the priorities of the modern business travel is to go online, and the company is pleased to observe that the proportion of Portbilet users among their customers is growing dynamically. "We played a role in shaping the interface of the Holding's online B2B system, and we are confident that this product, Portbilet, will significantly facilitate and accelerate the work of business travel managers," he notes.