Bed bank youtravel.com is to launch a new brand for the UK trade as it prepares an assault on the dynamic packaging consumer market in Europe.
The new site is available to agents now ahead of the official launch to allow for a transition period, but other than the website address the company said nothing else was due to change.
Agents’ log in credentials will remain the same and there will be no changes to the way agents access youtravel.com’s hotels and trade-only deals.
Youtravel 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.”
Youhotels.com sales and marketing director Paul Riches added: “One of the challenges we face is how do we differentiate what we offer the consumer to what we offer the trade.”
Riches said the decision has been taken to develop the consumer offering by developing a new dynamic packaging platform.
This new consumer brand is being developed my former Teletext Holidays boss Matt Cheevers ahead of a launch later this year.
He said youtravel.com’s move to grow its consumer business would not undermine its trade relations.
“We are very conscious about price parity. A lot of the hotels we feature are trade only so in effect the trade offering is now and will remain enhanced to what the consumer can buy from us.
“Predominantly UK trade has been trade and that will remain so. All of our competitors have got strong business to consumer presence.
“These days everyone is entering each other’s space. Five years ago you had bed banks and retailers now you have bed banks with retailing arms and retailers with purchasing arms.”
Youhotels.com will continue to remain a principal supplier, as it has been since its launch in 2006.
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 Youtravel Group has appointed Kim Deller, in the new expanded role of UK customer services/operations manager based in the Guildford office. Previously Deller worked at Teletext Holidays.