Video: Try your holiday before you buy! Travel agencies open in York – with unique VR experience

A pioneering holiday business has opened in York – complete with a virtual reality room, where you can experience your journey without leaving the city.

Heritage Collection Travel is located on Goodramgate near Monk Bar.

It is the brainchild of Michael Davies, who has been in the travel business for 14 years.

The shop has a unique decorating scheme, with greenery and a water feature on the left and a cityscape on the right – plus an airplane flying through a blue sky from the ceiling.

There’s even a table made from a former piece of York Minster, fresh from the stonemason’s yard.

But the biggest innovation is in the back room.

“Virtual reality is the new!” Michael told YorkMix. “I’ve never seen it before in travel.”

Experience the holiday in 360º
A quick trip to Africa

After seeing someone use one of the VR headsets, “I thought it would be great to use it for travel, to give you an idea of ​​your destination,” he said.

Using Heritage Travel technology, you can immerse yourself in a 360º world, whether that be strolling through your city hotel and nearby streets, or joining the crocodiles and zebras on a crossing of the Serengeti River.

“It gives you that sense of what it’s like to be there — the drone of the hooves and the number of animals that are there,” Michael said.

“You can also walk on the beach and discover the location of the restaurants, with the sound of the waves in the background.

“So come in, have a coffee or something stronger, and really experience what your vacation could be.”

People ready for an outing

Michael Davies in store

The travel industry has suffered more than most from the Covid restrictions. But Michael is optimistic that people are ready to book holidays again.

“Travel in itself will always be a human need,” he said. “While there are still limitations – and rightly so – hopefully people will want to sit down with a travel agent that can walk you through the process from start to finish, with all the different financial protections you might need.”

In the shop

Don’t many people just book online now?

“I think people want a combination of both,” he said. “We do have our internet site – and internet prices – but with that service, which is also so important to me.”

Heritage Collection includes everything from UK holidays to Arctic expeditions, honeymoons in the Maldives to safaris in Africa.

And the even better news? “The prizes for Europe this summer will be absolutely fantastic,” said Michael.

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