Youtravel.com has extended its portfolio to include Las Vegas, Thailand and Orlando as it claimed a “flying start” to 2010.

The accommodation-only specialist has also introduced properties in the South of France and Italy as it looks to expand from its traditional strongholds in the Mediterranean, Canaries and Egypt.

Sales and marketing director Paul Riches said bookings, revenue and margins were all up in January, with the poor weather at the start of the year driving sales through online and call-centre channels.

“We’re off to a flying start in January and we’ve seen growth week-on-week, whereas last year it evened out after a couple of weeks,” he said.

Although the proportion of sales for summer had increased year-on-year, Riches insisted there was still demand for this winter with sales for the period up to the end of April still accounting for 60% of business.

Turkey continues to be the fastest-growing destination, with sales so far in January more than double last year’s on the back of capacity increases.

Riches said the expansion into France and Italy was a logical step as youtravel.com looked to increase its Mediterranean presence, and the moves into Las Vegas and Orlando were designed to capitalise on improving exchange rates and flight capacity.

A further expansion to the youtravel.com portfolio of around 20% was planned for the coming months, he added.

Riches said youtravel.com was no closer to reaching an agreement to rejoin ABTA. The company left the association last year over new rules introduced to make bed banks liable for consumer money in the event of an agency failure.