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About us

The HolidayPirates Group and its local channels are the most popular travel brand on social media. Since our inception in 2011, we’ve established ourselves as the preferred search app and portal for millions of travel enthusiasts, explorers, and holiday makers in Europe and North America by providing followers and users with the best value for money travel deals.

The company has grown into an entity that can boast 30 million monthly visits (sessions), 10 million app downloads, close to 11 million Facebook fans and and 2 million Instagram followers and has launched services across 10 countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the UK and the United States) in 7 different languages.

Headquartered in Berlin, the multi-award-winning platform’s editorial team, aided by advanced algorithms, detect the best, and often unique travel deals, from packages, flights, and hotels through to car hire, holiday homes, luxury stays and weekend breaks.

What we do

Founded in 2011, The HolidayPirates Group represents one of the most successful online travel companies in Europe and has built an unparalleled audience on social media. Its value proposition of sharing “best value-for-money travel deals” rapidly gained popularity and elevated HolidayPirates to become the preferred go-to app and portal for millions of travellers.

HolidayPirates has succeeded not only in Germany but also in Austria, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the United States.

Our brand promise is to inspire our fans and followers with astonishing and breathtaking travel deals every day. To satisfy our customer’s holiday requirements, and offer them a unique value proposition tailored to their needs, we constantly develop and expand our product portfolio. Not only do we search innumerable databases for cheap flights, hotels and travel packages, we also look for vouchers, bus and train deals. In addition, through our partners' solutions we provide thousands of offers from well-known tour operators and airlines.

HolidayPirates fans stay up to date with great deals by setting custom alerts on our app, on WhatsApp, following us on social media, subscribing to our newsletter or simply visiting one of our websites.


  • In 2011, Igor Simonow founded Urlaubspiraten, the German version of the company’s service, where he started publishing travel deals online.

  • In 2012 HolidayPirates was launched in the UK and later that year, Igor Simonow partnered up with Sebastian Kaatz to launch the actual legal entity HolidayPirates GmbH in Berlin.

  • In 2013 PiratinViaggio was launched in Italy as well as Urlaubspiraten in Austria and Facebook was established as the company’s marketing platform. The company’s staff has grown to 10 employees.

  • 2014 saw travel e-commerce expert (and future CEO) David Armstrong assume the new role of COO to internationalise and scale the business. This is the year VakantiePiraten launched in The Netherlands, WakacyjniPiraci started in Poland, and VoyagesPirates set sail in France.

  • In 2015 the pirate crew counted 40+ members. ViajerosPiratas was launched in Spain and Ferienpiraten started in Switzerland. The Group also began integrating booking capabilities of preferred partners.

  • In 2016 HolidayPirates took part in the ITB, the largest tourism exhibitions and the first local Youtube channel was launched. This is the year in which David Armstrong became CEO of the Group and the co-founders started stepping out of the day-to-day operation.

  • In 2017 WhatsApp and Instagram were kicked off in several markets and TravelPirates started for the US-market in Boston. The Group’s staff amounts to 150 globally.

  • In 2018 and 2019 the Group's annual GMV’s are steadily on their way to hit half a billion Euros amounting to 452 and 480 million Euros respectively. At its peak the pirate ship had the hands of 220 mates on deck.

  • In 2020 HolidayPirates adopted a permanent hybrid policy, allowing employees the flexibility to work from home or anywhere else, while keeping the option of working from any of the offices, as and when they feel it would be beneficial.

  • 2021 the company replaced its tech stack to facilitate the envisioned strategy and ensure the scalability of the business model. The pirate crew stood together and weathered the pandemic storm without having to raise funds or take loans.

  • In 2022 the world has finally opened up again and HolidayPirates is back at the avant garde to help fulfill travel dreams all over the world. The Group is incredibly well positioned to satisfy the wanderlust that has been put on hold over these past two years.

  • 2023: The company moved into a dedicated HQ in Berlin to serve as the central hub at the heart of the hybrid working model for employees all across Europe. HolidayPirates also opened a new office branch in the Netherlands.

Our Captains

Carlo Speth - Head of Market, DACH

Location: Berlin

Expertise: Editorial content, social media strategy, SEO and developing new business sectors.

Career Highlights: Editor-in-Chief for HolidayPirates DACH presence for many years, leading to the role of Co-Head of market.

Academic background: Law, Germany.

Why travel? To seek out the culinary hot-spots all over the world.


David Armstrong – CEO HolidayPirates Group

Location: Berlin/Munich

Expertise: Scaling e-commerce/online companies in travel, turnaround and change management

Career Highlights: Timesoft (co-founder), (founder),, FTI Group,

Academic background: History & Politics, US/Germany and Business Administration & Management, UK

Why travel? I'm passionate about discovering new places and experiencing other cultures


Judith Eyck – Head of Virtual Tour Operating & Market NL

Location: Berlin

Expertise: Building and scaling commercial strategy, travel tech.

Career Highlights: Co-founder at, CEO of Zoover and Marketing Manager at Sunweb

Academic background: Cultural Economics

Why travel? To escape city life and breathe in nature, see horizons, and discover great hikes.


Mara Zatti – Head of Brand & Communications

Location: Berlin

Expertise: PR, Journalism, communications and brand management

Career Highlights: Lecturer at German and Italian Universities, Journalist and Editor at “Zeit Sprachen”, Responsible for Southern Europe and LatAmerica PR and Communications (Babbel)

Academic background: Master of Arts, Italy and a PhD in Classical Archaeology, Germany

Why travel? To meet new people and escape the routine, my biggest enemy!


Marta Dal Lago - Chief of Staff

Location: Berlin

Expertise: Growth, internationalisation, start up scale-up, entrepreneurship, sustainability

Career Highlights: Team leader in the EU Gateway program to Korea (PwC Luxembourg, EC); head of market expansion APAC (Golden Equator/Spectrum Global Singapore); CEO and Founder at Eudunes OU

Academic background: International relations in political sciences, Innovation and policies for sustainable development, executive training program (South Korea business focus)

Why travel? Since I can remember I was always very curious and eager to learn about different cultures and enjoy a broader horizon. Many years ago I finally became a modern nomad, changing many countries and enjoying discovering new landscapes.


Mila Genova – Head of Marketing

Location: Berlin

Expertise: Business development, strategic marketing, organic growth, growth hacking, user acquisition, CRM and the ability to build teams, drive growth, innovate and adapt to changing environments.

Career Highlights: Bulgarian ministry of Foreign affairs, Urge IO, and creating a strong professional profile with HolidayPirates

Academic background: International Economic Affairs in Bulgaria followed by a Master’s degree in Business Management in the UK

Why travel? To explore new cultures, challenge beliefs and broaden horizons


Pablo Santaella Robles – Head of Market, Spain

Location: Seville

Expertise: Business development, with a focus on the travel sector and tourism.

Career Highlights: Working at Airbus in logistics, and Meliá Hotels International prior to climbing aboard at the HolidayPirates Group

Why travel? Travel opens your mind! As Mark Twain said: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."


Phil Salcedo - Head of Market, UK & North America

Location: Liverpool

Expertise: Building and training award-winning teams across Europe, North America, and APAC, with a focus on travel, events and dining.

Career Highlights: BBC Producer; VP of Publishing, Travelzoo; roles in oil exploration and yacht chartering in Canada and Australia, and 18 years in the online travel industry

Academic background: LLB Law, London University

Why travel? Insight and innovation is not found in one location.


Simon Erdem – Head of Product & Development

Location: Berlin

Expertise: SEO, BigData, web development and scaling product teams

Career Highlights: Transitioning from SEO Consultancy and Information Architecture into a 10 year career in product and e-Commerce systems, primarily in checkout optimization, payment processing.

Academic background: Business Computing

Why travel? Meeting new people and cultures to gain new perspectives and broaden the mind.


Stefano Bergamaschi – Head of Market, Italy

Location: Berlin

Expertise: Editorial content, tourism, business development

Career Highlights: Knowledge and management of 3 main European markets (Content Lead and Head of Market Italy, Head of Market France, Content Lead UK)

Academic background: Bachelor and Master’s degree in Tourism (Milan)

Why travel? ‘Cause there’s nothing better than that!


Stéphane Renard – Head of Market, France

Location: Paris

Expertise: Tourism, publishing, media, team management.

Career Highlights: Hachette Tourisme and the Guide du Routard, Travelzoo as Head of Publishing for France and International Key Accounts.

Academic background: Master’s in Geography (Paris - Sorbonne) - 2nd Master’s in Specialized Modern Literature, publishing option (Paris - Sorbonne)

Why travel? To meet myself and more importantly, others!


Vivien Schwarz-Elbelazi – Head of People & Culture

Location: Berlin

Expertise: 16 years of experience in human resources management, talent acquisition, change management and project management in different industries, Systemic Coach.

Career Highlights: Group Lead of talent acquisition at Zalando, Co-Founder of a charity organisation.

Academic background: Business Administration (Germany), certified coach (Humboldt-University, Germany)

Why travel? Encounters with people of different beliefs, cultures and foods. Exploring new places or just simply when I am in need of sun at a beach.