Virgin Holiday VR Experience

Virgin Holiday VR Store Front


Would a VR experience encourage you to visit a store? The jisp team have been wondering just that. Is it merely a waste of money and space, or would it encourage shoppers to put down their laptops, tablets and mobiles and venture into a brick-and-mortar store to experience what potentially could be revolutionary technology? Fortunately, we had the chance to send a jisp employee to test the waters!

“After visiting my home country last weekend, the jisp team asked if I would stay to explore Wales' first Virgin Holiday Virtual Reality (VR) experience. I had previously only used VR when playing crime genre video games, so I was interested as to how this would work within St David's Shopping Centre. 

While entering the store, I was questioning whether I had come to the right place as it appeared to look like a very sophisticated bar full of delicious snacks and drinks, and expensive looking seats I wasn't sure I should trust myself near. After seeing my confusion, a member of staff welcomed me in, explaining that the store has been designed as a mock version of a Virgin Atlantic cabin, in order for customers to experience the different classes (clearly I have never stepped foot in first class before.) 

Virgin Holidays VR Rollercoaster

We moved onto the VR experience where I sat in a roller-coaster style seat, only a great deal more comfortable with no signs of vomit. My seat belt was adjusted and I was told to "Hold on tight" as the VR headset was placed over my eyes and ears, immediately emerging me into a theme park atmosphere. Cheerful music played and I could hear the sound of people enjoying themselves in the distances, while visually it looked as if I was sat at the front of a glamorous roller-coaster train, about to enter a tunnel full of colourful lights- very much different to Oakwood Theme Park in Wales! 

The ride begun and I found myself speeding through the tunnel, following the track out into an open area with a view of beautiful beaches, swerving around bends to see stunning blue oceans twinkling under the sun, dropping down into exotic trees and forests. I laughed as I reminded myself this wasn't real, but I begun mentally writing a list of future holiday destinations. Famous landmarks popped up as I travelled onward, including Vegas and Paris- I was aware of my head instinctively turning to try to see more but the ride continued at full speed. As my cart came to a stop, the shop assistant helped me take off the equipment and we both laughed as I begrudgingly adjusted to my surroundings again, wishing I had been dropped off on a beach on the way. 

I wasn't aware that I was desperate for a holiday before my VR experience, but I am tempted to visit again just to make a decision on a destination. Either that or I could always ask to borrow the VR headset to get me through the British summer.”

Virgin Holidays Virtual Reality Experience

The experience left Becca wanting more, it made the possibilities of a holiday (virtual) reality. AR and VR is predicted to reach $143 billion revenue by 2020, so it’s no doubt why we’re starting to see the technology appear on our high streets. With great possibilities, we hope retailers will prepare differently to the introduction of AR/VR than the arrival of online shopping! Will this new technology revolutionise high street shopping, or will it only feature with brands with enough money to dabble? Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to tell us your thoughts!