Agents have welcomed the deal that sees bed bank Youtravel.com become part of the German travel firm FTI Touristik, and hope it will bring more exclusive product into the market.
Executives of both firms met key trade partners in London last week to take them through the deal, which saw FTI take an 85% stake in Youtravel.
Youtravel founder and chief executive John Kent apologised for the problems the bed bank had caused suppliers and customers. In the run-up to the FTI deal being finalised, Youtravel angered hoteliers by demanding a 30% cut in its debts.
Agents said they were optimistic about Youtravel’s takeover by FTI.
Andy Tilby-Baxter, head of supply at On The Beach, hoped FTI’s presence in destinations through its Meeting Point International destination management arm would enhance Youtravel’s product.
“The wider the net is cast the more competitive the pricing in terms not just of our traditional market but exclusive product.
“We have been a supporter of Youtravel and the concerns from overseas have been worrying, but this gives us confidence that it is going to be a stable partner for many years.”
Agents agreed the deal would also help to raise standards in the bed bank sector. Steve Clark, Travel Trust Association director, said: “It looks like it is going to bring quality to the sector.”
Youtravel plans to move into new sectors such as ski and cruise and increase its city product.