Virgin Holidays, Sunbed search wastes millions of holiday hours

6th Sep 2011
Virgin Holidays, Sunbed search wastes millions of holiday hours

As part of its Rockstar Service Manifesto, Virgin Holidays has looked carefully at holidaymakers’ expectations about their annual two week break in the sun, and their research has revealed that Britons spend 1.8 million hours of holiday time each year searching for a spare sun lounger by the pool or beach.

And the blame is being laid on the humble towel - 62 per cent of those who couldn’t find a sunbed said it was because they were pre-reserved with a towel.

To make sure they’re not left in the shade, crafty Brits have invented their own sunbed strategies - nearly 1 million pack extra towels to improve their chances with 370,000 confessing to greasing someone’s palm to get their hands on a lounger.

More than 4.8 million admit they’ve used the towel reserve tactic themselves, nine per cent asked a friend or family member to do their dirty work and two per cent even sent their children.

As a result of the research, Virgin Holidays has successfully begun trialling a sunbed security option as part of its rockstar service in the Caribbean and is currently exploring options to introduce the service at selected resorts across the globe, in the form of ‘Sunbed Sitters’. The ‘Sitters’ will lay reserved towels on poolside sunbeds, stand by them until the holidaymaker comes down and make sure they are positioned at the perfect angle for sunbathing throughout the day.


The service will be welcomed by the many who had an abrupt alarm clock awakening rather than a holiday lay-in -15 per cent say they have got up as early as 5am to secure their poolside sunbed spot.

But the early start is often in vain. Almost 1.5 million holidaymakers report having their towel removed from a sun lounger, with nearly 750,000 saying they discovered it thrown in the pool or sea.

And the inevitable holiday race for sun lounger space has even resulted in one in 10 Brits having a verbal or physical tussle with a fellow holidaymaker.

Andrew Shelton, Marketing Director, Virgin Holidays says: “It’s fair to expect the basics like a sunbed without having to resort to devious tactics or waking up at the crack of dawn. Our Rockstar Manifesto promises that everyone deserves to be treated like a rockstar and that their holiday should be the best two weeks of their lives. The ‘Sunbed Sitter’ service is another way we can look after the little things so our customers don’t have too. ”

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