|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|Headquarters||Crawley, West Sussex, UK|
|Area served||United Kingdom|
|Key people||MD: Amanda Wills|
|Subsidiaries||Travel City Direct|
Virgin Holidays Limited is a company within Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, headquartered in "The Office" in Crawley, West Sussex. The company was formed in 1985, a year after the successful launch of Virgin Atlantic Airways in June 1984. Initially selling seats on Virgin Atlantic routes to New York, Miami and Orlando the company has grown to become one of the largest and most successful long-haul scheduled tour operators in the UK.
The company offers holidays worldwide with destinations including the USA and Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, India, the Indian Ocean, the Far East, Australia and the South Pacific. In addition, the company has an established ski programme, “Virgin Snow”, a specialist cruise division, "Virgin Holidays Cruises" and "Worldwide Journeys" touring holidays
In September 2008 Virgin Holidays launched a partnership with Herbert Ypma's HIP Hotels to create Virgin Holidays + HIP Hotels, a bespoke tour operator providing holidays to luxury and boutique hotels around the world.
On 18 December 2008 Virgin Holidays acquired the assets and brand name of Travel City Direct from XL Leisure Group, which collapsed in September 2008. Travel City Direct has been relaunched offering holidays to Florida, Las Vegas and the Caribbean.
Nearly a year later, on 15 December 2009, Virgin Holidays announced that it had bought the small independent tour operator, Bales Worldwide.
Virgin Holidays has its own network of stores throughout the UK. The standalone “holiday emporium” on High Street Kensington joins the company’s network of 100 concession outlets in Debenhams, House of Fraser, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and pop-up shops already operating across the UK. With more opening through 2012 by the end of 2012 it is estimated over 200 shops will be operating.
Virgin Holidays was voted Best Long Haul Operator at the TTG Awards 2010 and won 13 awards at the British Travel Awards 2010, including Best Package Holiday Company Long Haul, as voted by customers. It was recognised as a Consumer Superbrand in 2011, voted one of the UK's strongest brands by experts and consumers.
There are now v-room airport lounges at Gatwick and Manchester Airports. They're exclusively for the use of Virgin Holidays customers and the first ever airport loungues dedicated to people going on holiday.
On 21 September 2006, Richard Branson announced that all profits the Virgin Group receives from Virgin Holidays will be ploughed into research and investment to develop sustainable sources of energy. He also committed the profits from Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Trains, which in total is estimated to be $3bn over the next 10 years. At the time he said, “Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents, it is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world.”
Caring about the future
With a history of innovation, the company is determined to move beyond the idea that more sustainable holidays must be difficult or boring. The Human Nature Promise is based on the belief that the business and customers can contribute positively to protecting the environment and supporting local communities in their holiday destinations.
- "Contact Us." Virgin Holidays Limited. Retrieved on 26 December 2010. "Virgin Holidays Limited.Registered Office: Company Secretariat, The Office, Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9NU.Registered in England No. 1873815"
- TTG Live: Virgin Holidays buys Travel City Direct