The Youtravel Group has more than doubled its profits for the year ending 31 October 2010. The company’s UK trade-facing arm youhotels.com has seen Spain, Greece and Portugal continue to be popular with British holidaymakers. The former has seen sales increase 20%, 9% and 15% respectively in the destinations for summer compared to last year. “The boom in Turkey and Egypt over the past few years has been well-documented as British travellers took advantage of currency fluctuations and cheaper hotel rates,” said Graham Nichols, managing director at Youtravel. “However since the unrest in Egypt and the fact that euro rates have become more competitive, there’s been a definite increase in interest in the mainstream holiday favourites of Spain, Greece and Portugal.” He said that Brits were also returning to Egypt off the back of competitive pricing and it had spurred the company to continue with its expansion in Dubai and the Middle East, as well as Florida and the Caribbean. “We are well-known for our great value European beach proposition and want to extend this to key mid and long-haul destinations,” said Nichols. In addition, Nichols said the last minute booking trend would be later this year and the market will remain tough for holiday companies. “From our point of view we are well-positioned to take advantage of this. We’ve seen bookings increase by 15% compared to last week, but there are continued pressures on margins and revenues. There are signs that eagerly awaited late bookings the signs are that this will continue,” explained Nichols. “The next few weeks’ trading are crucial for the UK travel industry and all eyes are watching sales levels in every business in our industry.” Meanwhile, the group has announced that UK sales and marketing director Paul Riches is to leave the company at the end of August. As a result, development director Matt Cheevers will become group UK and international sales and marketing director and current national sales manager Liz Garfield will be promoted to UK head of sales.