It’s all in the (domain) name

    A record breaking price could be paid for a website address this week when Holiday.com goes under the hammer at London’s World Travel market, which begins today.

    According to reports, the domain name could eclipse the $35.6 million paid for Insurance.com in 2010, when it is auctioned on Wednesday.

    Farad Laaforce, managing director of the auction organisers, Breathe Luxury, says the premium domain name could attract some serious bids from some of the best known names in the travel industry.

    Although ‘vacation’ is a term used in the United States, ‘holiday’ is one of the most searched for words online.

    “Holiday is the main key word in the travel industry. It is only in the United States that people use the term ‘vacation’. People in India and China also use the word holiday, so its potential is massive,” he added.

    Simon Press, senior director of World Travel Market said holiday.com will “attract a massive amount of interest both from leading travel industry companies and entrepreneurs looking to achieve a major presence in the sector.”

    The top ten highest recorded prices paid for domain names

    1. Insurance.com – $35.6 million, 2010

    Bought by QuinStreet, it was originally purchased by Insure.com for $1.6 million in December 2001.

    • VacationRentals.com – $35 million, 2007

    Bought by HomeAway (UK subsidary, Owners Direct) and according to Brian Sharples, founder & CEO of HomeAway – the only reason they bought it was so Expedia couldn’t have it.

    • PrivateJet.com $30.1 million, 2012

    Purchased by Nations Luxury Transportation (LLC) from Don’t Look Media.com.

    • Internet.com $18 million, 2009

    No info.

    • Insure.com $16 million, 2009

    Another domain bought by QuinStreet.

    • Sex.com – $13 million, 2010

    Registered by Gary Kremen, the founder of dating website Match.com in 1994 and sold to Escom LLC in January 2006 for $11.5 million. Resold to Clover Holdings in 2010.

    •  Hotels.com $11 million, 2001

    Established in 1991 by Robert Deiner and David Litman as the Hotel Reservations Network (HRN), the company was acquired by USA Networks Inc (USAI) which also acquired a controlling interest in Expedia.

    • Fund.com – £9.99 million, 2008

    Bought by the company Fund.com Inc in an all-cash transaction, although never confirmed by the company itself.

    •  Porn.com – $9.5 million, 2007

    Bought by MXN Limited and at the time of its sale, Porn.com was the biggest all-cash transaction for a domain name ever.

    • Fb.com – $8.5 million, 2010

    Facebook paid $8.5 million in November 2010 – a figure that was more than 42 times the amount the company originally paid for Facebook.com.

    Skyparksecure.com anyone?