set to broaden destination portfolio

Bed bank is poised to add a further 9,000 hotels to its city and worldwide portfolio, moving it into new destinations.

The bed bank is set to announce a partnership deal that will give it access to the new bedstock, revealed sales and marketing director Paul Riches.

Currently, Youtravel focuses mainly on eastern and western Mediterranean destinations.

Riches, who would not reveal more details at this stage, said: “This will really widen our portfolio into new areas and new destinations.”

Meanwhile, Riches said the bed bank remains on track to deliver a healthy profit for the year ending October 2009. It expects to make revenues in the region of £80 million for the year, similar to last year.

Summer sales so far for May to October departures are flat year on year. “We have still got a couple more months’ selling [for this summer] and if it carries on we could have a summer performance slightly ahead of last year,” added Riches.

But he admitted the winter market could be a challenge for the sector. Currently Youtravel is 10% to 15% down on winter sales. “Winter is a different story but we have got time for that. The most important thing is people are booking now,” he said.

He added bookings were now coming in for September and October departures “if the price is right”.

The bed bank will also announce a replacement for non-executive chairman Nigel Jenkins in the next fortnight. It announced in January that it was in talks with candidates to replace Jenkins, who left in November 2008.

More information:

* seeks new non-executive chairman (Travel Weekly, January 7, 2009)

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