European expansion is on the cards at a Bradford-based holiday price comparison company which has clinched a national UK travel industry award.
Wyke-based Icelolly.com which was launched by former travel agent Adrian Walton in 2005, now employs 12 staff and has become a leading holiday price comparison site with more than 20 million offers from some of the UK’s top travel companies.
Since December, the firm has enjoyed a substantial rise in its overall web traffic, officially netting more monthly visitors than Teletext Holidays – according to figures from Google. The Bradford operations regularly attracts around two million visitors to its site.
Icelolly.com’s marketing and creative director Suniel Makh said the company earned its income from holiday providers paying to feature on the site. It is an information provider and does not sell holidays.
Mr Makh said the recent success was likely to provide a springboard for future expansion and Icelolly.com is considering setting up a base on mainland Europe and has a target of eventually having several offices across the Continent.
The ultimate aim is to establish Icelolly.com as a well-known worldwide brand.
The company achieved success at the Travel Marketing Awards, where it collected the award for best budget TV advertisement for a tongue-in-cheek commercial designed to appeal to a target audience of women aged 25 to 40.
It featured a female heroine relaxing by a pool while surreptitiously ‘checking out’ four male stereotypes, with Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing playing in the background and a voice over from Gavin and Stacey’s Joanna Page.
After the commercial's first prime-time airing, more people visited icelolly.com’s website in one hour than in an average day, and the company's YouTube page received more than 8,000 hits in the week’s following.
Suniel said: “We were thrilled to receive such significant national recognition, and as an award winner featured alongside some of the largest travel brands in the UK. For the last few of months we have been able to report a 30 per cent increase in like for like web traffic on last year’s figures.
“We have spent the last few years developing and investing heavily in a brand which now boasts 20 million holidays for our customers to compare, reflecting a vast range of options We are in a very strong position indeed.”
The company has also provided holidays as prizes in competitions featured in TV shows such as Deal or No Deal, Family Fortunes, Push the Button, The Paul O’Grady Show, Channel 5 Movies and T4, as well as donating holidays to charities for fund-raising.