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Press releases

Virgin Holidays in the media

As one of the top travel companies in the UK, Virgin Holidays strive to deliver amazing holiday experiences to all of our customers.

Our dedicated PR team believe in offering the same incredible experiences to press outlets across the UK. The PR team is here to provide assistance to journalists so please browse our current news releases below, or contact the press office for a chat.

We are very excited about the 2017 travel year, as we have a number of new holiday programmes to choose from...

Virgin Holidays announces new leadership - January 2017

  • Virgin Holidays Managing Director, Mark Anderson, has been promoted to lead customer organisation at Virgin Atlantic.
  • Joe Thompson has been appointed as Managing Director of Virgin Holidays, effective July 2017.

EMBARGOED JANUARY 11th 2017:  Joe Thompson, Senior Vice President of Sales and Distribution for Virgin Atlantic has been appointed as Managing Director of Virgin Holidays - with effect July 2017 following parental leave.

Joe will take over from Mark Anderson, who has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Customer at Virgin Atlantic.  Marks’s new role at the airline will focus on customer service, memorable experiences and a sense of fun that helped make Virgin Holidays one of the largest and most respected long-haul tour operators in the UK.  Mark will be responsible for leading all customer facing teams for Virgin Atlantic; more than 6000 people.

Until Joe returns from parental leave, Virgin Holidays will be led by interim Managing Director Dave Geer, who is currently Product, Commercial and Business Development Director for Virgin Holidays.

Mark Anderson, new Executive Vice President, Customer at Virgin Atlantic, commented:  “The Virgin Holidays team is the best in the business because we never stop caring about our customers and provide irresistible travel experiences.  I’m thrilled to now work with a larger team at Virgin Atlantic that offers the same extraordinary experiences to the airline’s customers, knowing that Virgin Holidays is in great hands with Dave Geer and Joe Thompson.”

Under Mark’s leadership, Virgin Holidays has grown significantly in size and profitability, helping earn the company the highest customer satisfaction scores in its 32 years in business and reaching an all-time profit high. 

Mark guided the development of new travel products and services and led Virgin Holidays’ successful customer-direct model that helps ensure seamless service at every point in a customer’s holiday journey.

Joe Thompson, new Managing Director at Virgin Holidays, commented:   “I’m delighted to be taking over from Mark as Managing Director.  I’ve worked closely with the team at Virgin Holidays in my time with Virgin Atlantic and I’m really looking forward to building on the many successes achieved under Mark’s leadership”.

Joe joins Virgin Holidays after 14 years with Virgin Atlantic, working in leadership positions across commercial and customer service-focused functions, including Airport Operations, Network and Alliances and Sales and Distribution.

Dave Geer - who has helped develop the company’s long term growth strategy - will ensure future success through his strong understanding of customers and his commitment to Virgin Holidays’ unique style and innovative spirit.

Dave Geer, interim Managing Director of Virgin Holidays, commented:  “I'm delighted to be given the opportunity to build on Virgin Holiday's success and deliver our strategy providing customers with new, innovative experiences.”

For more information please call the Virgin Holidays Press Office or email kelly.grindle@fly.virgin.com

Virgin Holidays unwraps the new v-room at Gatwick - January 2017

v-room

Virgin Holidays will open its brand new v-room lounge at Gatwick Airport North Terminal on January 25


December 2016: Christmas has arrived early at Virgin Holidays, as the company unveils its brand new v-room lounge at Gatwick Airport, which is now available to book for visits from January 25.

Whether you’re a honeymooner off to the Caribbean or taking the kids away to Orlando, the v-room truly caters for everyone, all with a premium design ethos, yet retaining a lot of family-friendly quirks. Covering more than 7,200 square feet and available exclusively for Virgin Holidays’ customers, the new space creates a calming atmosphere away from the hectic airport terminal through its pastel tones, sumptuous relaxation areas and extensive menus. Here, visitors can sip a specialty cocktail, enjoy a hearty breakfast and even try their hand on one of the lounges many interactive games. Split into a number of distinct sections, the v-room includes:

Innovate: Practice your driving skills in the Forza racing car sled, take part in a kids vs adults game of table football or Xbox Kinect games and even take the first of your holiday selfies in the dedicated booth, all with your chosen destination super imposed on the background.

Toddler Time: Created specifically for the under-fives, this immersive space really focuses on the needs of the youngest travelers. There’s a variety of touch screen games, with a soft play area and slide, an arts & crafts table and TVs screening child friendly content, to ensure the little ones are kept fully immersed during their airport experience.

Try before you fly!: Inspired by some of the most tropical destinations, cabana daybeds will make you feel like you’ve already arrived on holiday. The space is designed strictly with older guests in mind, who can relax in style with a cocktail and a magazine, before they even hit the beach.

Guests will also be able to enjoy an al-a-carte hot food menu, along with an extensive continental buffet offering. Other finishing touches include a gourmet coffee shop, Cup Cup and Away, and a pancake machine that offers a variety of personalised toppings.

There’s also a Virgin Holidays Service Desk, where our experienced staff are on hand to offer any last minute travel advice or last minute requests to make your holiday extra special along with check-in screens for car-hire specialist Alamo. And, to ensure the ultimate flexibility for customers, two packages can be purchased, the standard package, or the standard plus, which has the added bonus of beers, wines and spirts included.

Virgin Holidays Managing Director Mark Anderson commented; “We want to create truly memorable experiences for our customers and we think that begins before their feet have even left the ground. We make epic holidays and our new v-room is just the latest example of how we achieve this. We’ve really tried to think of the individual needs of everyone who holidays with us, and I believe the new space does just this – albeit with an added touch of Virgin Holidays flair”. 

The Virgin Holidays v-room is available for bookings now, before it opens for its first passengers on January 25th. The v-room is available from £12 per child and £20 per adult and is available to anyone travelling as part of a Virgin Holidays package. Any customers travelling from Manchester can also enjoy the v-room at Manchester Airport too.

Prices

Standard entry prices for London Gatwick v-room

Type

Entry Package

Entry Package

 

Standard (pre booked)

Standard (on the day)

Per Adult (12+ years)

From £20.00

From £22.00

Per Child (2-11 years)

From £12.00

From £14.00

Infants (Under 2 years)

FREE

FREE

 

Standard Plus entry prices for London Gatwick v-room

Type

Entry Package

 

Standard Plus (only available pre-booked)

Per Adult (18+ years)

From £24.00

Per Child (2-11 years)

N/A

Infants (Under 2 years)

N/A

To book one of our brilliant entry options, please call 0344 557 9813 or book online as part of your Virgin Holidays package.


Virgin Atlantic is moving its operations from South Gatwick Terminal to North Gatwick Terminal on January 25th. The v-room has been moved as part of the terminal relocation and it will share an operational space with a refreshed Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse that is also due to open in January.

For more information please call the Virgin Holidays Press Office or email press.office@fly.virgin.com

Virgin Holidays encourages shoppers to ‘Seize the Sale’ - December 2016

Seize the Sale
  • Virgin Holidays launches new marketing campaign on December 22nd to capitalise on the key trading period for leisure travel.
  • The campaign is the tour operator’s first extension of the critically acclaimed #SeizeTheHoliday proposition.

EMBARGOED DECEMBER 21st 2016: Virgin Holidays newest marketing campaign will launch on December 22nd with a hero television commercial to promote its January sale.

The advert features one hundred people – some of them real Virgin Holidays customers – running down a Barbados beach in dramatic slow motion. An aerial shot from above shows they’re racing for hundreds of floating lilo’s which spell out the word SALE while a voiceover comments: “The Virgin Holidays Sale, it won’t last forever”.

The idea brings to life the sheer size and scale of the Virgin Holidays sale in an exciting and entertaining way. It provides an engaging visual representation of how fleeting it is, and has been devised and created by AMV BBDO.

The tour operator is expected to take as much as 40% of its annual revenue during this key trading period, and the new campaign has been designed to instill a sense of urgency in the customer.
This is the first extension of Virgin Holidays critically acclaimed #SeizeTheHoliday proposition that launched in September with an 18-location live television advert, and provides an indication as to how the company intends to use its new communications platform over the following years.

The company is also investing heavily in marketing throughout this period to turn what is commonly known for discount-based trading, to an ‘occasion-based’ moment – in the same way Harrods have achieved popular recognition of their sales period.

The premier of the television commercial will take place at 7.15pm on Thursday December 22nd during ITV’s Emmerdale.

Claire Cronin, Director of Customer & Marketing at Virgin Holidays, commented: “If you’re planning a holiday in 2017 this is the month to grab the best deals – it’s as simple as that. We’re committed to growing the reputation of our sale over the next few years so everyone knows if they want the best value holidays, now is the time to buy.”

Jay Kossifos, Head of Brand & Campaigns at Virgin Holidays, commented: “Our new Seize The Holiday platform is designed to show everyday people that the world is literally at their fingertips – we hope we’ve delivered the message in a slightly different way in our sales period, as we did with our live advert in September. Whatever way people interpret this, the message is simple: don’t just sit there and let the world pass you by.”

The Virgin Holidays Sale starts on December 26th and will run until the end of January. For more information please visit virginholidays.co.uk

For more information please call the Virgin Holidays Press Office or email press.office@fly.virgin.com

What are the hottest tourism destinations of 2017? - December 2016

Top Destinations

Media Alert: Long-haul tour operator Virgin Holidays has released its predictions on which tourism destinations it considers as “hot-spots” for 2017.

The five hot-spot destinations are:

  1. Cuba: Under its new government, Cuba is slowly opening up to more tourism, and from April 2017 Virgin Atlantic will fly direct to both Havana and Varadero.
  2. Las Vegas: “Sin City” has successfully transformed itself into the world’s pre-eminent entertainment destination with live shows, first-class restaurants and luxurious hotels.
  3. Seattle: New direct Virgin Atlantic flights from London will be introduced in March 2017 opening up a popular Cruise-ship destination for those wanting to “fly and cruise”.
  4. Dubai: This Middle-East hotspot has quickly established itself as a rival to more traditional family destinations with impressive hotels, sunny climate and plentiful attractions. 
  5. Maldives: It may be slightly tricky to get too, but the sheer beauty of the area, growth of diverse accommodation, and popular recognition will see a huge growth in British travelers to this jewel of the Indian Ocean.

The travel giant has taken expert opinion, industry news and announcements, and commercial forecasts into account whilst developing the list.

Dave Geer, Director of Product & Commercial at Virgin Holidays, commented: “When people think of holiday getaways there is the classic association with favourites such as Orlando or New York. However, our list highlights the destination hot-spots that will have a real buzz about them next year – some of them expected, some of them surprising - and are looking forward to seeing if the British public agrees with us”.

The Virgin Holidays Sale is now on for any customers planning a 2017 escape. For more information please visit virginholidays.co.uk

For more information please call the Virgin Holidays Press Office or email press.office@fly.virgin.com

Virgin Holidays publishes report on issues facing LGBT travellers - October 2016

Equality in travel

Virgin Holidays LGBT travel report reveals that one in three LGBT travelers (32%) feel they are treated differently due to their sexuality when on holiday.

00:01am Wednesday October 5th, 2016:  Virgin Holidays today publishes the findings from its LGBT travel report into the issues faced by LGBT travelers worldwide.  The study reveals more than one in three (37%) LGBT travelers have experienced some form of discrimination whilst on holiday, with 6% experiencing a threat of physical violence due to their sexuality.

The report also highlighted that sexuality had a major influence on where LGBT Brits travelled, with two thirds (63%) refusing to travel somewhere that had an unwelcoming attitude towards the LGBT community.  Furthermore a quarter (23%) of LGBT travelers change the way they act and try to camouflage their sexuality when on holiday.

Most alarmingly, an overwhelming 80% said that the travel industry don’t do enough to inform the LGBT community about local laws prior to departure.

Sir Richard Branson said: “At Virgin Holidays, we believe everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the right to be whoever they are, wherever they are.  That’s why it is shocking that in today’s society some of us can’t even enjoy a simple holiday without fear of discrimination. It’s fantastic that Virgin Holidays are raising awareness around this important issue.”

Virgin Holidays has developed plans to address the issues faced by the LGBT community when travelling.  As part of their commitment Virgin Holidays will stage a LGBT equalities conference in conjunction with international tourism partners, encouraging partners in conservative regions such as the Caribbean to adopt more LGBT-friendly policies.

Virgin Holidays three-year plan includes components which focus on empowering staff, informing customers, and influencing partners.  It also involves joining lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality Stonewall, as a Diversity Champion.  This will see Stonewall support Virgin Holidays in auditing the workplace on its LGBT inclusion efforts and provide advice and support on how to make it a better place to work for all lesbian, gay, bi and trans members of staff.

                                                             

Mark Anderson, Managing Director of Virgin Holidays, commented:  “We want everyone to feel comfortable when travelling abroad and encourage everyone, regardless of their sexuality, to take on the world.  We will continue to address this complex issue, and will be a proactive force for change in the LGBT community.”

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO, said:  “It’s difficult for travel companies to negotiate the ever-changing landscape around global LGBT equality.  Travel companies should be doing everything they can to keep their staff and customers safe when travelling anywhere in the world.  We would love to see others join forces with Virgin Holidays and work towards a world where lesbian, gay, bi and trans people feel able to travel freely without fear of discrimination, and are accepted without exception.”

For more information on the campaign please visit virginholidays.co.uk/losethelabels