Specialist travel booking website StudentUniverse and the Journeys are Made @ GapYear.com social network have been merged.
As a result of the merger GapYear.com will operate as an independent website and its employees will merge with StudentUniverse UK. Prior to the merger, Journeys are Made @ GapYear.com and StudentUniverse were both separate student travel entities operating as part of the Flight Centre Travel Group.
Dan Baker, head of marketing for StudentUniverse, said: “230,000 young travellers in the UK take a Gap Year each year and we have seen interest and enrollment in Gap Year programs growing substantially.
“This is a critical piece of the UK student travel market. Teamed up with the website GapYear.com, we are leveraging each brand’s individual strengths to help grow our combined footprint and expand our product offering in the UK market as one selling brand.
“Carving out this offering for Gap Year travellers positions StudentUniverse for future growth in an ever-expanding sector.”
StudentUniverse’s customer base are largely single travellers booking individual, international point-to-point flights online, while Journeys are Made @ GapYear.com’s travellers booking long, complex, multi-stop trips over the phone with skilled agents specialising in gap year trips.
Chris Galanty, Flight Centre managing director UK and South Africa, said: “Working together, StudentUniverse will help the GapYear.com website to improve its digital presence and sales processes, while the people behind the GapYear.com website will provide local experts able to inform travellers and book the Round the World flights and complex, multi-stop itineraries that travellers across Europe expect.
“We are excited about leveraging synergies between our brands where they exist and we provide an unwavering commitment to helping better position StudentUniverse to lead the student travel market in the UK.”
This merger caps a period of rapid expansion for StudentUniverse in the UK, which has seen more than 200% year-over-year growth in departures as a result of new partnerships and expanded air product that have been made available over the course of the last six months since it joined the Flight Centre Travel Group.
StudentUniverse and the team from the GapYear.com website will operate out of Flight Centre Travel Group’s offices in Intel House, Southwark Bridge Road, London.