A new giant of the travel industry could be born almost overnight this evening as the domain name holiday.com goes up for sale at an event in London.
Following in the footsteps of huge international businesses like booking.com and hotels.com, the live auction from 5.30pm will be expected to herald one of the most expensive domain name sales of all time.
The auction will be overseen by the company Breathe Luxury, which described holiday.com as “the Holy Grail for the travel industry” and said it easily had the potential to beat the record sale of sex.com for £8 million in 2010.
Repeated attempts have been made to buy holiday.com over the past 16 years, when it has been owned by a US company that, according to Breathe Luxury, has finally accepted it cannot afford the investment needed to turn it into a viable business.
Owning holiday.com would give any travel company a huge advantage attracting online customers, with the organisers claiming that more than 90 per cent of such businesses already use “holiday” across their sites as one of their top-five keywords.
Farad Laaforce, managing director of Breathe Luxury, told the Telegraph that taking part in the auction was “in these companies’ best interests because they will lose their market share once holiday.com goes live”.
Most popular winter holiday destinations
Most popular winter holiday destinations
1/8 3. Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
At number three is Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. The resort city offers December temperatures of up to 32 degrees Celsius and an abundance of sandy beaches.
2/8 4. Dubai, UAE
Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, grabs the number four spot. The city offers travellers year-round hot weather and a view from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
3/8 5. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam makes number five on the list. Lucky travellers can go ice skating on the city’s famous canals, but be warned: they don’t freeze every year!
4/8 6. Playa de las Americas, Tenerife
The Spanish island of Tenerife’s Playa de las Americas comes in at number six, no doubt helped by the Spanish city’s reputation for all-night partying. A good way to bring in the new year.
5/8 7. Costa Adeje, Tenerife
Those who prefer something a little more restful opted for the Costa Adeje, number seven on the list and another of Tenerife’s many attractions. The coastal resort offers a more tranquil alternative to the Playa de las Américas, ideal for families.
6/8 8. Bangkok, Thailand
Travellers looking to go a little further afield put Bangkok at number eight, with the Thai capital offering year-round hot weather and a host of major tourist attractions. The ginormous Grand Palace, residence of the Kings of Thailand since the 18th century, is a must see.
7/8 9. Playa Blanca, Lanzarote
Lanzarote’s Playa Blanca, on the mainland of Spain, comes in at number nine. The town’s name is well-deserved: its centrally located main beach offers soft white sand and warm temperatures, even in the winter months.
Luis Miguel Bugallo Sanchez
8/8 10. Berlin, Germany
Berlin rounds off the list at number ten. The holiday season is much loved in the German capital, where traditional Christmas markets offering festive fare pop up all over town.
Web hosting expert Richard Winslow told the Guardian that search engines would “value” a memorable, one-word keyword like “holiday” as a domain name.
But he warned that it was not as simple as just buying the site and watching the customers roll in. “You need to have a business plan and to be able to use the name and market it effectively,” he said.
If it does sell as well as is expected, holiday.com as a domain name on its own could outstrip the sales of insurance.com, vacationrentals.com which went for £21 million and privatejet.com, sold for £18 million – all of which included the transfer of ownership of a complete business.
According to Business Insider, sex.com still holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive domain name-only sale – around £8 million in 2010.
Pre-auction bidding for holiday.com opened on Monday, while the main event will begin from 5.30pm at the World Travel Market exposition at London Excel.
And for those priced out of the holiday.com auction, other domain names on sale include include worldholiday.com, journey.com, crete.com, doha.com, as well as a host of “.tv” domains including france.tv, ireland.tv, and holiday.tv.Reuse content