Hotel and Car Hire Price Comparison Site

Midas Hotels - Hotel and Car Hire price comparison Midas Hotels - Hotel and Car Hire price comparison


Midas Hotel Network was started in the summer of 2003 by myself and business partner Mike Andrews. We had both been working at ebookers.com as product (Mike) and technology (myself) managers and realised that ebookers were not moving fast enough on online hotel reservations. So we opened our own business to capitalise on this infancy market.

The model was integrating multiple hotel wholesalers into one result set, showing the best price only for any given hotel. We built good relationships with Tourico Holidays, HotelBeds, HotelConnect (ceased trading 2011) and ATS Pacific

Within a year we had also implemented an innovative integration to Holiday Autos who at that point did not even have an XML interface. We "screen scraped" their agent website to fully integrate car sales into our booking process. A process to this day that Holiday Autos do not believe to be possible!

This allowed users to dynamically package any combination of hotels from different suppliers along with car hire in one basket, in one transaction, with financial protection provided by the Travel Trust Association

In five years of trading Midas Hotels transacted almost £8m in bookings and due to our advanced technology the company achieved this with just 2 full time directors and 3 other part time members of staff.

The business cam to an end in 2009 when the competition from the "big boys" became too great - the cost of PPC went through the roof as these companies had bottomless pockets for PPC spend to squeeze the smaller players out. Margins were getting squeezed from 30% in the early days down to 10% at the end. At this point we decided to go our separate ways. Mike Andrews took a career change - became a family man and moved into the childcare business. He and his wife Emma now run the successful nursery Small Wonders in Newquay with the plan to open many more.

Midas Hotels - the Legacy

After the business closed, I took on the technology of Midas Hotels and converted it to a true price comparison site with very healthy referral commissions due to the goodwill and business relationships already built with the various suppliers. The user now clicks through at the final stage to the supplier's own retail site to make the transaction. All traffic is now gained only through organic search.

Midas Hotels is still work in progress - there's more to be done to improve conversion rates and SEO is a constant battle.