Student-focused STA Travel has announced a deal with social network Gap Daemon to provide exclusive deals to its users.

The partnership is designed to take advantage of the rapidly growing ‘gap travel’ market, which is expected to grow to 2.5m travellers in 2012.

STA Travel has set up a Gap Daemon Travel Team to provide a tailor-made flight and accommodation booking service to Gap Daemon members. In return STA Travel will be given access to the social network’s growing database of travellers.

Gap Daemon was established in 2010 as a community and advice site for gap year travellers.

Site editor Nadia Latif said that it currently delivers around 2,000 visitors per day, but hopes that a marketing campaign around new site features and initiatives will help it reach 500,000 monthly page views by the end of Q1.

Gap Daemon CEO James Capon said of the deal:

We are increasingly seeing young gap travellers using social networks to inform their travel plans, as well as share their travel experiences on the move. This use of constant connectivity offers STA Travel a great marketing platform for their services.”

STA Travel said that the partnership will complement what it already offers to the youth travel market, while bringing Gap Daemon’s specialist knowledge to its customers.

This deal is the latest example of travel companies investing more online in an attempt to increase revenue.

Econsultancy’s Multichannel Customer Experience Report found that 71% of consumers have browsed online for a flight, hotel or holiday in the last six months – however only 56% have booked a travel product online.

This has led to companies adopting new tactics to try and increases online sales.

On Friday Four Seasons unveiled a new $18m website for this very reason, at the moment online transactions account for just 12% of total revenue.

In November Ryanair added a new captcha screen to its website in a bid to prevent screen-scraping sites from accessing price and availability information.