Virgin Holidays has launched two new high-concept travel concessions in the UK, known as ‘holiday laboratories’.

The first concession space was opened in the House of Fraser store at Bluewater in Kent, while a stand-alone outlet is due to open to customers at the Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield.

Both are innovative in that they are designed to be ‘paperless’, meaning that customers can book their holiday without having to take away bundles of paperwork back home. Instead, bth holiday labs will use interactive tablets and giant screens where visitors can browse interactive brochures for themselves and see where they would like to go.

Customers can also use the labs to piece together their ideal holiday, encompassing everything from accommodation and climate to activities and nightlife. They can also watch videos to see what each destination is like.

One of the most innovative parts of these new ‘labs’ is that they will have a ‘green screen area’, where customers who have booked their holiday can have their photo taken against a backdrop from their chosen destination. The photo can then be shared via social media by the customer, plus the image will feature in the lab for other customers to see.

To further the sensory nature of both labs, the design has been made to give customers a more ‘holiday-like’ atmosphere in which they can book the break of their choice.

In the Bluewater store, areas will be dedicated to both Walt Disneyworld in Florida and the Disney Cruise Line, marking the first time that a third party has been involved in such a project. Staff at both stores have been trained to make booking holidays in the lab as easy and enjoyable as possible.

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