HolidayPirates: Stealing the hearts and minds of travel-hungry millennials

David Armstrong

CEO, HolidayPirates Group

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The travel industry is faced with a generation demanding a highly streamlined experience powered by technology. According to the Boston Consulting Group, millennials will account for almost 50% of travel spending by 2020. This underscores the necessity for the industry to learn how to accommodate this group’s unique travel needs in order secure growth.

Being one of the largest travel brands on social media, with almost 11 million Facebook fans, we figured that millennial travelers are moved by great content. In contrast to other more well-known online travel agencieswith established brands that can quite easily sit back knowing customers will visit their website, we are more proactive about seeking out great deals and then promoting them on social media to drive traffic to the HolidayPiratessite. 

We started out small. About seven years ago, we were just a student blog – it wasn’t until 2012 we decided to make a business out of it. Today, we are a global travel deal platform that operates in 10 countries in Europe and the US. We have over 35 million website users per month on our systems globally and over 10 million app downloads. We are very proud of the fact that – compared with most established online travel agencies – we do not invest large sums of money into paid traffic. In fact, we only paid for 8% of our traffic last year – and knowing that millennials spend most of their time on social media – this is where we invested our money into traffic acquisition. This is what sets us apart from your typical online travel agency!

By investing in our editors who go out and find great content in the form of the best travel deals currently on offer, and push them out via social media, we can reach our customers (mainly millennials) on channels they prefer. An example of this would be a 3-night stay in Prague, inclusive of flights and hotel. The essence of our success is that if the content is good, people like and share it, and that’s how we gain our reach and exposure.

Having said that, our inclination towards using innovative and effective technology solutions came when we partnered with Amadeus. It helped us pivot our business model from pure affiliate marketing to a commission-based direct partnership model with tour operators and airlines. Before working with Amadeus, we had to use a multitude of different websites and systems, then manually compare what was on offer in order to find the best travel deals. As an example, for the German market, we use Amadeus Leisure IBE Web Services – a leisure package API that gives us access to content from more than 120 German Tour Operators, including all-inclusive packages, hotel only and flight offers.

As an open platform, it’s extremely important for us to have access to different travel verticals – like flights, packages, hotels, and cars – in different markets around the world and be able to enter new markets easily whenever we want. Our partnership with Amadeus has broadened our reach enabling us to serve our customers in several markets, enrich our portfolio of predominantly packaged travel, and serve the best interests of our millennial customers.

As mentioned before, by embracing the technology tide, we’re investing a lot in solutions that help us make our business model even more scalable and source great travel deals from across the world. That’s where our partnership with Amadeus will play a pivotal role and a vital part of our whole product suite – as we look to a bright future and conquer new geographies.

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Leisure Travel, Travel sellers, Live Travel Space, Videos, Customer Testimonial, Guest Post