Thursday 19 December 2013

Virgin Holiday & Skcin Join Forces to Encourage Safer Sun whilst on hols!



Virgin Holidays will this week announce a new partnership with the leading sun safety awareness charity, SKCIN, to help inform its customers concerning sensible tanning practices as they begin to make their holiday plans for 2014. A first of its kind in the UK travel industry, and fronted by the official Virgin Holidays launch ‘Tanbassador’ and ex-Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, the charity partnership will see a range of initiatives rolled out over the next 12 months both here and in the destinations Virgin Holidays customers will visit.

The Virgin Holidays/SKCIN partnership launches with a joint information page on the Virgin Holidays website ( which customers will be encouraged to visit at the time of booking their holiday and before they travel, where they will find essential information and tips on how to ensure they and their families stay safe in the sun and avoid sunburn whilst on holiday. From January, a range of further initiatives will be rolled out, including:
  • Distribution of 10,000 information booklets across the Virgin Holidays shop network
  • Inclusion of an information leaflet in all customer ticket wallets
  • The creation of a jointly-branded microsite for customers to learn more about sun safety, plus regular social media and email communications to the Virgin Holidays community to support the message
  • Retail staff training on how to advise customers on the essential do’s and don’ts of tanning
  • Activity packs and a special children’s book produced earlier this year by SKCIN featuring George, the Sun Safe Superstar will also be distributed to flagship stores, and made available in Virgin Holidays’ v-room lounges in London Gatwick and Manchester and its Concierge Lounges across the globe.
  • The appointment of a Safe Sun Concierge in each resort location who will receive additional training on spotting customers who are in danger of getting burnt, and how to help with any necessary preventative actions they might need to take.

Andrew Shelton, Virgin Holidays’ Marketing Director said: “Nothing says ‘I’ve had a fantastic holiday’ like a sun tan, and a recent informal poll showed that over sixty per cent of our customers consider it to be one of the most important things they want when they book with us. But we want them all to be safe in the sun – to be tan aware – and this unique partnership with SKCIN will help us educate and inform them before they go.”

Charlotte Fionda of SKCIN also commented: “We know that most Brits like to tan when they are on holiday and we have to be realistic about this, we cannot expect them to stay out of the sun completely when holidaying in warmer climes.  So the advice we are giving is that want people to enjoy the sun and enjoy their holiday, but to do so as safely as possible without burning their skin. To us, it is really important that holiday goers are educated and understand that if they choose to tan, to do so sensibly and responsibly. Partnering with a brand with the scale and influence of Virgin Holidays makes perfect sense and will mean our messages reach a very wide audience. We’re very excited by the potential that this partnership offers.”

Virgin Holidays’ ‘Tanbassador’ Mark Foster, who is championing the launch of the partnership, stated:  “When I was training and competing, myself and my fellow swimmers had to be very conscious of excessive sun exposure, and had to learn very quickly about how to prevent possible damage to our skin. I’m pleased to be associated with an initiative that recognises how important a holiday glow is to most and provides the information needed to be safe in the sun and in the water.”


About Virgin Holidays:
Virgin Holidays is the UK’s favourite worldwide holiday company. Founded in 1985 on the Virgin principles of excellent customer service, value, reliability, responsibility and a sense of fun, it has used its entrepreneurial heritage and passion for innovation to benefit customers and communities around the world.

The brand is particularly known for the ‘magic touches’ it has brought to market.  From the world’s first dedicated airport leisure lounges to the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean, Virgin Holidays puts its customers and the communities it works with at the heart of its commitment to do things differently.

In 2013, it was once again voted Best Overall Tour Operator to the USA, Canada and the Caribbean at the prestigious, consumer-voted, British Travel Awards.

About SKCIN: (The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity)
Set-up in 1996 by the family of Karen Clifford who sadly lost her brave battle with skin cancer on New Years Eve 2005.  Everything Skcin does is aimed at educating and raising awareness of sun safety and the need for early detection of skin cancers in order to save lives. They are particularly keen to work with 'at risk groups'; those particularly susceptible to the dangers of over exposure to UV.  The charity is always busy spreading the sun safety message, distributing literature and running awareness campaigns.

Key objectives are:
·       To significantly raise awareness of skin cancer
·       To promote prevention and early detection
·       To campaign for cultural and educational change

Skcin are the only skin cancer specific charity with national status, for more information visit