The group said the move would ensure customers "receive a seamless experience whether that’s online, through the contact centre or in one of its retail stores."
Virgin Holidays said it will no longer sell its holidays via trade partners but solely concentrate on delivering holiday experiences through its own channels "with a view to adding more value to its customers".
Mark Anderson, managing director of Virgin Holidays, explained: “By solely focusing on our direct sales channels, we will be able to have a relationship with every customer booking a holiday with us. We are investing in our direct channels, including opening new retail stores around the UK, launching a more intuitive online booking experience and having a dedicated UK based contact centre. Overall, we’re passionate about providing all of our customers a unique, seamless holiday experience.”
Virgin Holidays recently launched a new type of retail store that has been designed to inspire customers through immersive experiences. The first two new stores, located at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent and at the Metro Centre in Gateshead, have been designed to create a landscape of interaction allowing customers to explore new destinations, discover new experiences and shop for holidays in a relaxing environment.
The holiday company also recently celebrated its 30th Birthday this month with the launch of a new range of premium holidays called ‘Wonderlist’, dedicated to customers who are looking for a fun and affordable luxury holiday with epic experiences.
The news had already broken on the Travel Gossip Facebook site, with agents reacting angrily to the move.
One described it as “gutting”, adding that it would be “good news for Gold Medal and Funway”, while another said simply that it was “terrible”.