Hostelworld targets Gap Year market

Hostelworld.com has joined forces with gapyear.com, the dominant portal in the gap year space, by providing them with their hostel booking engine. The partnership will give Hostelworld.com access to a highly targeted market that is estimated to be worth £5 billion a year.

Hostelworld.com’s Chief Marketing Officer Niamh Ni Mhir commented “Gap years are no longer relegated to school leavers, the sector has expanded significantly to encompass post university students, those on career breaks and those travelling independently from 55 to 65 around retirement. We are constantly looking for new way of targeting customers. With gapyear.com being the dominant force in this sector it was the obvious choice for a partnership as it gives us access to a receptive market and allows us to effectively reach customers while they are in the process of planning and updating their travels.”

She continued “Gap Year travellers, on average, travel for longer on strict budgets and therefore need access to accommodation that won’t break the bank. We offer travellers the widest range of budget accommodation choices with 12,000 properties in 165 countries ranging from hostels to guesthouses, budget hotels and even campsites. All our bookings are made securely, in real time and are guaranteed.”

gapyear.com founder Tom Griffiths said that the hostel booking engine now gives them complete booking functionality on the site. He added: “When we were looking for an accommodation partner we needed to provide our users with the best possible service, that’s why we chose Hostelworld.com, they have the range and choice suited to our users and are best in class in their sector. Their experience with the youth travel market is unparalleled.”

Griffiths continued: “The tag of ‘low spending budget traveller’ is misleading. The average gapper travels for longer and as a result the market has an average spend in excess of £5,000 per person. In the UK, whilst the gap year travel market comprises only around 1% of all UK outbound trips, it punches well above its weight with roughly 10% of outbound travel expenditure. By 2010 it is estimated that around 2 million gap year trips will be made worldwide, with a total expenditure reaching around £11bn*. Spend on accommodation forms a significant part of this market. It is essential, therefore, that we provide a cutting edge offering that integrates smoothly with our unique one-stop-shop model to service our growing global customer need” *Mintel Gap Year Report

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