The Youtravel Group is relaunching its UK trade accommodation arm as www.youhotels.com from February 16.Apart from the new name, the main features of the accommodation-only site will remain the same. Whilst the official changeover to the new site will take place in a few weeks, agents can access the new site with immediate effect.
Agents’ log in credentials will remain unchanged and there will be no changes to the way agents access its hotels and exclusive trade-only deals.
Group managing director Graham Nichols said: “One of the key reasons for the change is to make it more obvious what we do! The ‘youhotels.com’ name is more easily aligned to the fact that we are an aggregator of hotels. “As we move into 2011, we are looking to build on our large number of exclusive hotel partnerships, many of which are trade-only. Even in a difficult market, we are looking to continue to grow our UK trade business this year and have planned a number of events including educational trips, our annual VIP trip and an incentive programme to coincide with our fifth birthday celebrations in 2011.’’
The Youtravel Group has also appointed Kim Deller, in the new expanded role of UK customer services/operations manager, she is based in their Guildford office. Previously Deller worked at Teletext Holidays.
Youhotels.com sales and marketing director Paul Riches said: “We’ve seen a good start to this year, with summer 2011 bookings trading ahead of the same period last year. People are starting to realise the value in booking early, especially with no-frills airlines, for the best deals. Winter bookings are trading at a similar level to last January, which was a very strong month for us’’
“In terms of destinations, the Canaries have performed well for winter 2011, and for summer 2011 we have seen an increase in demand for Spain and Greece. Thanks to our exclusive partnership with Aquis Hotels and Resorts, we have been able to take maximum advantage of this during January. We are also seeing increases in bookings to Portugal and the Canaries, compared to the same booking period last year’’
Nichols added: “We are fully committed to accepting principal responsibility on areas such as TOMS, health and safety, and general customer care, for all our trade customers who act as agents.”
The group is planning to use the youtravel.com name as its global consumer-facing brand. Development director Matt Cheevers is working on its launch, timings are yet to be confirmed.