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Fareportal The 3rd Largest Online Travel Agency You’ve Never Heard of

The 3rd Largest Online Travel Agency You've Never Heard of

Fare­por­tal com­bines the best of the tra­di­tion­al world with the ease and con­ve­nience and tech­nol­o­gy of our new dig­i­tal world.

Here at Media Jobs we’re always look­ing for employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties that are under the radar, those up and com­ing com­pa­nies that the aver­age job seek­er would­n’t even know to send a resume to. Today we’re tak­ing our search into the world of trav­el agen­cies, specif­i­cal­ly online trav­el agen­cies, or OTAs.

You might be sur­prised to find out what a small world that is in terms of major play­ers. Let’s see, first there’s Expe­dia of course. Then there’s Trav­e­loc­i­ty. No wait, Expe­dia owns them now. Okay, so there’s Orb­itz. Except Expe­dia owns them too. Ah, Triva­go. Owned by Expe­dia. Hotwire? Yep.  Hotels.com? Dit­to. Expe­dia has pret­ty much swal­lowed up almost every major OTA out there, with a few excep­tions. The first excep­tion is Price­line, because no one owns William Shat­ner. The sec­ond is…

Fare­por­tal. Who, you ask? Fare­por­tal, I repeat. They are now (since Expe­dia bought Orb­itz) the third largest OTA in the world, and you’ve prob­a­bly nev­er heard of them. Of course the first thing that would prob­a­bly jump to mind is that this fact illus­trates what a mega-giant Expe­dia has become in the busi­ness, and that’s cor­rect. But that does­n’t dis­count Fare­por­tal in any way. In fact, they’ve got a lot going for them.

Fare­por­tal was start­ed by Sam Jain in 2003, about a decade after start­ing his offline ver­sion, Fare­Buzz, in 1994. In 2006 the most well-known enti­ty with­in the Fare­por­tal empire debuted, CheapOAir, which has done quite well in the air­line book­ing busi­ness. Since then they’ve chugged along at a steady pace, until they were sud­den­ly thrust into the num­ber 3 spot in the indus­try thanks to Expe­di­a’s insa­tiable appetite for acqui­si­tion.

They’ve just bought Trip­Com­bi, a Ger­man trav­el search engine which was part of the Microsoft Ven­tures Accel­er­a­tor pro­gram and claims that it saves its cus­tomers up to 80% in air­fares thanks to its unique tech­nol­o­gy. That should make for good busi­ness in Europe. But the real thing that sets them apart, which peo­ple will love once they’ve dis­cov­ered it, is their hybrid mod­el.

You see, Fare­por­tal not only sells trav­el accom­mo­da­tions online, they also have a rather large call cen­ter. That’s right, you can actu­al­ly talk to them on the phone. Try get­ting some­one from Trav­e­loc­i­ty or Orb­itz on the phone. Go ahead, we’ll wait. No, actu­al­ly we won’t, because the world will have end­ed by then. Seri­ous­ly.

It’s this com­bi­na­tion of high-tech and high touch that makes Fare­por­tal a force to be reck­oned with in the future, as peo­ple get more and more fed up with pure­ly auto­mat­ed ser­vices that do noth­ing but dis­ap­point as soon as some unfore­seen bump in the road appears. And Fare­por­tal was­n’t some far-dis­tant also-ran before the Expe­dia machine kicked in. They actu­al­ly passed Trav­e­loc­i­ty for third place back in 2012, although they fell behind again after­wards.

The bot­tom line is that if online trav­el is your bag, Fare­por­tal is prob­a­bly where you should be look­ing right now. They’re still most­ly under the radar, but they’re a very strong com­peti­tor. And jobs at Fare­por­tal are prob­a­bly a lot less sought after than those at Expe­dia.

If group trav­el is your thing also check out Trave­fy.

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