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|Joe Thompson (MD)|
Orville Richard Burrell (Chief Caribbean Officer)
|Parent||Virgin Atlantic Holdings |
|Subsidiaries||Travel City Direct|
Virgin Holidays Limited is a company within owned by the Virgin Group that offers holidays worldwide with destinations including the USA and Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, India, the Indian Ocean and the Far East. In addition, the company has an established ski program and a specialist cruise division called "Virgin Holidays Cruises". The company was formed in 1985, a year after the successful launch of Virgin Atlantic in June 1984. Initially selling seats on Virgin Atlantic routes to New York City, 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 Managing Director is Joe Thompson, who replaced Mark Anderson in 2017.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, it was announced on the 5th May 2020 that virgin holidays would soon be rebranded as Virgin Atlantic Holidays. The full rebrand is expected to be completed by mid 2021.
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. This partnership has now ended and HIP Hotels has since been acquired by a private equity firm.
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.
In 2015 Virgin Holidays left their long standing home at The Galleria and moved to Aeronautics House close to Virgin Atlantic. Initially announced as a temporary move whilst the Galleria was refurbished it was later announced that Virgin Holidays would move into a newly built building, the Leonardo Building, with Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Holidays has won every significant industry and consumer travel award in the UK, and in 2013 was once again voted Best Holiday Company to the USA, the Caribbean and Canada at the prestigious British Travel Awards. 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 lounges dedicated to people going on holiday. In 2016 the v-room at Gatwick closed temporarily whilst a terminal move to the North Terminal was planned and executed.
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 and Virgin Rail Group, 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.”
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- "Boombastic' Brit required to take over from Shaggy as Virgin Holidays Chief Caribbean Officer". Business Matters. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.