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Youth travel agency KILROY launches in the UK
WYSE News | March 9, 2023

Former STA leader John Mccoach to help spur growth in UK youth travel market

KILROY, a leading youth and student travel agency headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, today announced its launch in the United Kingdom. KILROY will offer a selection of inspiring once-in-a-lifetime experiences to the UK youth market, focused on backpacking and adventure travel. The UK rollout began earlier in the month with flight bookings now available on KILROY’s website.

KILROY has appointed former STA Travel executive John Mccoach as consultant to help steer the launch and localise the KILROY brand for UK travellers. With his vast experience and expertise in the industry, Mccoach will be instrumental in helping KILROY establish itself as a top player in the UK market. Appointed to lead KILROY’s UK team is ex-Sabre sales specialist, Niclas Lundquist. Lundquist joins as Head of Commercial Operations and will be responsible for growing KILROY’s customer base across the UK- already appointing former On The Go Tours marketing manager, Hollie Youlden, to drive brand awareness.

KILROY’s launch in the UK was spurred by the country’s burgeoning youth travel scene. Demand for unique travel experiences among this demographic is particularly high in the UK versus other European countries, with recent research revealing 44% of Gen ZUK travellers intend to spend more money on travel in the next 12 months. This is compared with 26% of the same age group in Denmark, KILROY’s current largest market.

“The potential and market size for youth and student travel in the UK is unmatched by any of our other markets,” said Claus H. Hejlesen, CEO of The Kilroy Group. There are approximately 2.75 million students enrolled in higher education in the UK, compared to 842,800 in the Netherlands and 150,643 in Denmark – currently KILROY’s largest two markets. “We are extremely excited to be launching KILROY in the UK and are committed to investing in the market to provide its young travellers with life-defining adventures. We believe that with the knowledge and expertise of John Mccoach, Niclas Lundquist and Hollie Youlden, and our dedication to providing a top-notch travel experience, we will be able to establish ourselves as a leading player in the UK’s youth and student travel industry.”

KILROY, which launched its website earlier this month, plans to soon add a variety of specialist trip types for its customers, including working holidays and volunteering – all of which will be customisable to create each traveller’s ultimate dream journey. This spring, KILROY also expects to announce the location of its first UK-based store in Bristol.

“Having spent many years in the youth and student travel industry, I’m excited to be a part of KILROY’s expansion into the UK, filling a huge gap in this specialist market segment,” added Mccoach. “The exit of STA Travel in 2020 left a void in this space that KILROY is well­equipped to fill, drawing on its decades of expertise. There’s a surging demand among young travellers for tailored, meaningful travel experiences. This dynamic and adventurous new generation of travellers has high expectations that only a specialist in this segment, like KILROY, can deliver.”

About The Kilroy Group
Established in 1991 and now the largest youth and student travel agency in the Nordic region, the KILROY brand employs over 100 passionate travel consultants with extensive travel expertise in all our destinations, operating from 13 stores in seven markets across the Nordics and Benelux. KILROY is part of Kilroy International A/S, a European group of companies that are leaders in travel, educational counselling and student benefits. The Kilroy Group drives several brands in seven markets and employs over 250 people. These strong brands create long-term benefits for our customers and our company. We put considerable resources into broadening our knowledge and building our competencies to meet our customers’ evolving needs for exciting travel experiences. Our customers dream of doing something different: studying in a foreign country, achieving self-realization, exploring the world and sharing their experiences with others. We constantly try to fulfil these dreams in our own dedicated way.