Youtravel has appointed Jacky Bedlow as chief executive as founder John Kent steps down to become chairman of the board.

Bedlow, who has been deputy chief executive of for the last seven years, takes up her new role today (July 1). She has held several other senior positions, including at

Anne Roesener, chief officer for business development, who is responsible for Youtravel within parent company FTI Group, said: “Jacky has a strong reputation in her fields.

“She will play a key role in entering new markets, as well as developing and implementing initiatives, strategies and processes to strengthen Youtravel’s market position.”

As well as becoming chairman, Kent will take over other responsibilities within FTI.

“We would like to thank John for his outstanding work and personal commitment as chief executive and we are pleased that he will continue to contribute his experience to and to the FTI Group,” said Roesener.

“We have established a wide range of quality products at the right price, as well as strong and excellent relationships with our distribution partner. The results confirm this strategy as we have achieved a high revenue growth. Furthermore we have doubled the number of hotels from 4,000 to more than 8,000.”

Andy Baker also joins Youtravel this month from Hotels4u.