The recent management restucture at hotel beds supplier Youtravel.com will allow the company to push forward with its international expansion plans, according to chief executive John Kent.
The bed bank announced on Thursday that group managing director Graham Nichols would leave the business. The news followed the departure of sales and marketing director Paul Riches, annouced last month.
Nichols will be replaced by David Howell, former lastminute.com group finance director, while one-time Teletext Holidays chief Matt Cheevers has taken on the newly-created role of UK managing director.
Speaking exclusively to Travel Weekly, Kent said the new team was best equipped to take the company’s plans for overseas expansion to the next stage, starting with Germany. Kent said both Riches and Nichols had left by “mutual agreement”.
“I worked with David Howell and Matt Cheevers at lastminute.com, which successfully launched in different markets, so I believe the team we have now has the experience necessary to develop the business outside the UK.
“A sales person has been appointed in Germany. It is the number one market we want to focus on – it has the most potential. We will then look at France, Spain, Scandinavia and Italy.”
Cheevers added: “Each market has its own dynamics and its own product requirements. We now have someone who knows the German market.”
Kent added his hotel chain, Aquis Hotels, is also set for expansion outside its Greece base.
“Aquis will be profitable for the first time this year. We lost money in its first two years, but we expected to. Now that we are established in Greece, I will be looking at Egypt, Spain, Turkey and Italy,” said Kent.
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