We celebrate highlights since 1985 – how much do you remember?
Back in 1985 it was the latest bold Virgin start-up, launched with a passionate ambition to provide a new range of competitively priced holidays to exciting locations.
Virgin Holidays started with just three destinations – New York, Miami and Orlando (all using Virgin Atlantic routes from the UK, the airline having been launched just a year before).
Within just seven years its commitment to providing fabulous holidays meant that it had become the UK’s largest transatlantic holiday company.
Within seven years Virgin Holidays was the UK’s largest transatlantic holiday company
Still a market leader, Virgin Holidays has been evolving ever since – adding many different packages to its offering as Britons’ taste for holidays has grown over the last three decades to include more exotic, cultural and action-packed destinations. Dubai, Kenya, South America and the Far East are now popular destinations, and Virgin Holidays is the UK’s market leader for holidays in the Caribbean – while the holiday types available to pick from now include multi-centre, ski holidays, cruises, fly drives and safaris.
Always dedicated to creating unexpected magic touches to make an unforgettable experience, among its many ‘firsts’ it was the first holiday company to offer wedding holiday packages back in 1988, and it launched its inaugural v-room – a private lounge open exclusively to Virgin Holiday customers – at Gatwick Airport in 2008.
Inevitably, however, not all innovations have lasted the course of time. 1996 saw the proud launch of the first-ever CD-ROM holiday brochure – called ‘Ski-D ROM’. Alas, the pace of technological change meant that this wasn’t a lasting addition to Virgin Holidays’ brochure range.
Through three decades of change, however, Virgin Holidays has remained consistently true to its core ambition to create the best holidays in the world. Indeed, such is their customer loyalty that some couples now returning to Florida with their grandchildren were among the very first Virgin Holidays customers, honeymooning in the Sunshine State in the ’80s.
Some grandparents now holidaying in Florida first honeymooned there in the ’80s
One of the original hotels, the Rosen Inn International in Orlando, is now appearing in Virgin Holidays’ brochures for the thirtieth year (though inevitably prices have increased from the 1985 starting price of £299 per person for a week).
Nothing stands still in the world of Virgin and the company is currently opening innovative lounge-style stores (pictured) across the country that aim to immerse customers in the Virgin world.
Based on the renowned v-rooms, they’re a radical departure from traditional travel agents with unique features including a bar offering free alcoholic drinks. Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, the MetroCentre in Gateshead and Lakeside in Essex are among the first locations.
Check out the infographic below to see how many of Virgin Holidays’ 30-year highlights you remember – and here’s to the next 30 years of Virgin Holidays.
For information on Virgin Holidays’ current holidays, visit their website.