Industry pays tribute to former Holiday Extras colleague Ashley Close

Ashley Close death
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Industry pays tribute to former Holiday Extras colleague Ashley Close

Travel industry colleagues have been paying tribute to Holiday Extras former Head of Travel Insurance Partnerships Ashley Close, who has died at the age of 43.

Ashley had worked with Holiday Extras for a total of 11 years, first joining as a Senior Travel Consultant in 2001.

He left in June 2018 and was most recently Franchise Director at Trulawn Kent, but kept in close contact with travel industry colleagues, many of whom were shocked to hear of his death.

Police in Kent launched an appeal for information after Ashley went missing on Friday (11 August) but called off their search on Saturday after confirming that a body had been found.

Hays Homeworker Recruitment and Business Development Lead Cherie Richards said Ashley had contacted her last Tuesday to say he was looking to get back into the travel industry and he asked if she knew of any roles.

She added: “It’s the worst news. Ash, you are so loved by so many in the industry that you never really left. I just wish this was different news for all your family and friends and those who knew you.”

Former Holiday Extras Head of Insurance Andrea Norris, who worked with Ashley for 10 years, said: “Such a dreadful waste of a life and so much pain for Ash’s family.

“I have many, many happy memories of our time working together at Holiday Extras.

“Rest in peace Ash.”

Posting on social media, colleagues described Ashley as ‘a great person’ and his death as ‘terribly sad’. One wrote how they were ‘’truly, truly sad’ to hear the news.

Vertical Systems Managing Director and Board Trustee ABTA LifeLine Chris North, who met Ashley at a golf event last year, said that among the good times they had spoken of how they both suffered with ‘mental demons’.  Posting on Facebook, he wrote: “Gone too soon Ash RIP. Sending much love to the family.”

Chris told Travel Gossip: “He will be deeply missed by all of his golf buddies who last joined Ashley on a golf trip last November to Casa De Campo in Dominican Republic.”

He added: “His life was his son Zach, aged 10.”

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