This Sheffield company has seen an explosion in bookings through its website Alpharooms.com as people have become more confident at booking their own holidays. Annual bookings have risen from 10,000 to 175,000 in the past four years. Managing director Jason Fry set up the business with a £3,000 Prince’s Trust grant and a matching bank loan when his previous employer, a travel agent, went bust. He has recently added booking services for flights, transfers and insurance products to a core portfolio of 30,000 hotels and apartments. Sales, which reflect commission charged to hotels, have grown 121% a year from £510,000 in 2003 to £5.5m in 2006.
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