Planet Cruise leads travel firms in Fast Track 100 list

Planet Cruise leads seven travel companies pinpointed as amongst the fastest growing private businesses in the UK.

The Hampshire-based cruise specialist appears in fifth place in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 with annual sales growth up by 182% to £13.5 million in the financial year to August 2009.

Golf travel agency Your Golf Travel moved up from 15th position last year to fifth with sales growth of 158% to £16.4 million.

Online operator Directline Holidays appears in 18th place in the list, up from 35th position last year following annual sales growth of more than 133% to £23 million.

Others making the list include agency Black Tomato (47th), specialist operator Direct Traveller (77th), travel management company Redfern Travel and trade-only accommodation company (93rd).

The list published yesterday found that Directline had seen sales continuing to rise despite the economic downturn and volcanic ash disruption.

Sales at Black Tomato, which opened a New York office this year, have grown by 75% a year from £1.3 million in 2006 to £6.6 million in 2009, according to the Fast Track survey.

Northern Cyprus specialist Direct Traveller has seen sales rise from £1.5 million in 2007 to £5.4 million this year, spurred by the start of flights to Larnaca and transfers to the north coast which could previously only be reached by flying via Turkey.

Bradford-based Redfern Travel has seen sales grow from £8.9 million in 2006 to £34.4 million last year helped by winning contracts with government departments.

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