John Kent, CEO and recently appointed Paul Riches, UK Sales and Marketing Director of youtravel.com are ramping up preparations for the company’s launch, which is currently scheduled before the end of October.
Khilan Dodhia, Director Barclays Ventures, confirmed that this week Barclays Ventures has invested in youtravel.com, securing a significant minority stake of the business in a deal valued at over GBP15million.
Khilan Dodhia, Director Barclays Ventures, says “youtravel.com represents an exciting opportunity for us. The management team has a proven track record in this growing sector of the market and the youtravel.com business model is exceptional. We expect to see dynamic packaging continue to grow in the UK and across Europe. youtravel.com will become a major player.”
On 16 October 2006, the company completed the purchase of Qwerty Travel Ltd. Qwerty’s founder and Managing Director, Matt Sommers and Matthew Todd, Head of Sales, go with the sale, as does the 30 person call centre operation.
John Kent, youtravel.com CEO says: “Qwerty Travel will continue as a stand alone operation, but we will share synergies in terms of operation and resource.”
youtravel.com is a resort accommodation only bed bank offering exclusive online access to hotels and resorts around the Mediterranean and other worldwide destinations. It is the only online B2B accommodation service to provide full, peripheral, easy to use information in its pages. Content includes simple, relevant, quick reference travel guides local weather information, and maps for the surrounding areas showing exact locations and nearby amenities.
Paul Riches, who joined youtravel.com as the UK Sales and Marketing Director, this week, said; “The trade is critical to our business plan. We will offer motivating
commissions/incentives and with our unique, simple, easy to use system, we can offer agents access to some of the best hotels and resorts in popular destinations around the world. We expect to see over 85% of business come from the trade.”
youtravel.com features over 2,500 hotels from popular winter sun destinations around the Mediterranean (Canaries, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Malta), Dubai and the Spanish Caribbean. The company plans to secure a further 1,500 properties within six months. youtravel.com contracts directly with all featured properties.
John Kent, CEO, says, “We have the foundations in place, to quickly achieve our vision and become a major online accommodation retailer in Europe. Uniquely, youtravel.com will deliver differentiated product with competitive prices, supported by and easy to use booking system and market leader SAP at the back end. We are targeting a turnover of GBP45million (€65million) by the end of year one. We also have the advantage of being independent.”
With substantial investment in sales, contracting and administration, youtravel.com is establishing offices this week in Milan, Trieste, and London. Offices in Moscow will follow shortly. A team of 15 top industry personnel is being recruited for London and will be announced over the coming weeks, this will include two dedicated sales managers. Further acquisitions are likely.