Midlands firm Harvey World Travel has jointly launched a pioneering scheme which allows people to buy friends a pre-paid card to put towards a holiday.
The gift initiative, which electronically stores the value of the present to be redeemed by the recipient, is claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK travel market.
The partnership has been set up by the international holiday firm, which is based near Cannock, and Surrey group, Retail Decisions.
It is the first UK gift card deal for Retail Decisions, which operates other payment systems such as fuel cards and provides the technology behind online payment service PayPal.
Yesterday's announcement comes less than a month after Retail bought electronic gift card operator E Com Industries, which has sold around £2.5 million worth of gift cards through HWT in Australia in two years.
The gift card market is growing and was expected to account for ten per cent of gift sales in the US over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.
In the US some £36.5 billion was spent on stored-value cards in 2004, a figure that is expected to grow to £148.8 billion by 2009.
Retail said the UK and European market was around five years behind the US but was expected to grow by about 30-35 per cent annually over the next five years.
HWT said the deal would cut gift card administration costs and allow it to manage the gift scheme more efficiently with real-time reporting and an administration base. Gift cards can be used for either one-off or multiple purchases and can be re-loaded or "topped-up" in a similar way to pre-pay mobile phones.
Retail said the cards offered clients better merchandising and branding opportunities than paper-based vouchers, increasing customer loyalty and reducing the risk of fraud.
E Com has launched more than 30 gift card schemes in Australia - including with the country's two biggest super-market operators, Coles Myer and Woolworths.