Youtravel to stop selling direct under new owners

Youtravel to stop selling direct under new owners

Youtravel is to ditch direct sales to focus on dealing with the trade under new ownership.

The disclosure came as Germany’s fourth largest operator FTI confirmed it has taken an 85% stake in Stelow, the holding company of the accommodation-only firm, as revealed by Travel Weekly last week.

The deal for the company, which was establishing in 2006 and has eight operations in Europe, was not disclosed. The Youtravel group generated revenue of €95 million in 2010-11

Former Sabre Travel Group Central Europe and Nordics vice president Anne Roesener is joining the Youtravel board in London as FTI’s representative.

FTI chief financial officer Karlheinz Jungbeck will be a member of the board of directors of Stelow while John Kent remains as CEO of Youtravel. Aquis Hotels & Resorts is not included in the deal and remains with Kent.

Jungbeck said: “For us it is really important to have a strong management team in place and to make sure that Youtravel can work on a safe and reliable financial base in the future.

“With Youtravel.com we have a great opportunity to play a significant role in the global online travel markets.”

Youtravel.com will be focused purely on B2B activities, FTI confirmed.

“This is where Youtravel.com has had its biggest success,” said Roesener. “The B2C business will be dissolved and we will concentrate on enhancing and developing powerful systems to fulfil the requirements of our distribution partners.

“It is our goal to open new international markets for Youtravel.com and to expand the global activities,”

Kent said: “We now have the opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio with high-quality, exclusive products across the globe.

“I’m looking forward to the partnership with the FTI Group which is also a very positive signal to our suppliers, and loyal agents, who in the past already believed in us,”

FTI chief executive Dietmar Gunz said: “This decision marks an important step in the expansion of our international sales activities and Youtravel.com provides the opportunity to participate in the fast growing online travel market.”

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