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James Villa Holidays

James Villa Holidays
Founded 1985
Parent Wyndham Worldwide

James Villa Holidays (also known as James Villas) is a villa tour operator, with a head office based in Maidstone in the UK. The business operates under Wyndham Vacation Rentals®, family of brands within Wyndham Worldwide, following the original owner’s decision to sell the company in 2008. The James Villas company has over 3000 properties, which are let out to customers who wish to use them as temporary holiday homes.

At the start of 2015, the company appointed digital media agency 7thingsmedia to handle its social media strategy. This decision came after a review of previous revenues. 7thingsmedia will be responsible for handling all ‘social-first’ content, and they will handle the brand’s image through social media, based solely around travel.

The founder of James Villas is James Needham, who created the company in 1985. He first thought of the idea when holidaying in Lanzarote, at which time he and his wife owned a holiday villa, and were renting it out in their absence. Following redundancy from his job at the Evening Standard, James Needham invested his time in looking for new properties to purchase, and rent out to prospective holidaymakers. For the first few years James Needham ran the business with his wife, and later employed his late son, Darren.

During the recession of the late 1990s, the company chose to purchase a chunk of the advertising space that was available at the time, which was available at a cheaper cost than before the recession. Using word of mouth and TV advertising, the company’s growth increased by 40% for a number of years.

Following his son’s death, James Needham sold the company in 2008. Now under the management of Wyndham Vacation Rentals, James Villa Holidays continues to employ many of its original employees.

In 2014, Mark Bloxham took over the role of Managing Director, to replace Malcom Hoad, who left after two years in the position. Bloxham has been working for James Villas as Marketing Director, and oversaw both the James Villas Holidays and Villas4You brands as Managing Director. In August 2016 Bloxham left James Villas and was replaced by Sean Lowe.

James Villa Holidays has won a number of awards since its inception. The awards in full are as follows:

  • Winner at the British Travel Awards for Best Large Villa/Self Catering Holiday Booking Company in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and won the silver three years in a row from 2010.
  • Winner at The Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards for Best Villa Company in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
  • Winner of Condé Nast Traveller’s Favourite Villa Rental Company in 2012, and won the silver for this award in 2013 and 2014.
  • Runner up at The Telegraph Travel Awards for Specialist Tour Operator in 2014.


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