Youtravel eyes new destinations

Youtravel’s short-term future growth will be increased by offering new destinations in the British market and launching the site to new European markets.

Managing director Graham Nichols said the bedbank was already considering the Middle East, in particular Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, as potential destinations to feature on the site.

In choosing any new destination, he added there are certain criteria that must fit Youtravel’s business model.

“It is a volume business, the margins are low and we have to have high volumes to make it work,” Nichols said “We look at certain destinations and they can seem attractive but when you look at the number of visitors to those markets there is just not enough to be attractive.

“Long haul is not great either, it is expensive to send someone out there and to buy the rooms through someone else you have to pay their margins and so you’re not getting the best price.”

He also believes opening up the site, which is currently available in countries including Germany, Italy and Norway, will help drive growth.

Nichols said: “We’re looking at opening up in a number of other markets including Poland, Croatia and other parts of eastern Europe. Poland has a big outbound market but we have to look and see whether the countries are ready for bed banks and dynamic packaging.

“These markets now in Europe are moving that way and we expect them to embrace dynamic packaging in a much bigger way over the next few years.

“International business accounts for 15% of our turnover and we’d definitely like to grow that – I’d like to double it in the next two years.”

Nichols also believes the growth will be driven by remaining in the markets they already know and which are commercially proven for the model.

He said: “Cruise has become much more competitive in the last couple of years and it is not as attractive as it was, it’s also quite a difficult product online as there are lots of set up costs and choices in booking.

“We’d much rather focus on the bedbank and have a greater range of exclusive deals.”

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