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James Villas office in Maidstone set to close, leaving 40 jobs at risk

Around 40 jobs are at risk as travel company Awaze is set to drop its James Villas brand.

The Maidstone-based firm, which offers around 600 holiday homes across Europe, stopped taking bookings on Monday.

The James Villas office in Maidstone. Picture: Google
The James Villas office in Maidstone. Picture: Google

A statement on the company’s website says it won’t be taking any bookings and will be closed by the end of the year.

New customers are being asked to book any future holidays through Awaze’s sister company NOVASOL.

The group has said customers returning on or before November 30 will be unaffected by the brand’s closure, while those set to depart later will be given a full refund, as well as the option to book another Awaze property.

A consultation about James Villas’ office at the 20/20 park near Allington and Aylesford took place while affected villa owners were contacted.

Chief executive Henrik Kjellberg said: “We have decided to cease trading with James Villas as that model relied on guaranteed inventory.

An example of one of the properties James Villa used to offer
An example of one of the properties James Villa used to offer

“James Villas’ core inventory represents less than 1% of our total supply. We will work hard to ensure we minimise the impact on our employees, suppliers and customers.”

A statement from James Villas added: “The entire team would like to thank each and every customer that has ever booked with us, it has been a pleasure being part of your holiday experiences for so many years.”

James Villas was founded in 1984 before being sold to Wyndham Worldwide in 2010 for just over £63million following the death of the owner’s son, Darren Needham.

It was then sold in 2018 to US private equity Platinum Equity as part of Wyndham Worldwide’s decision to get rid of its European holiday rental business, European Vacation Rentals, which a year later became Awaze.

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