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14 Mar 2018

BY Sophie Griffiths

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A self-confessed businessman, playboy and villain... well-loved by the industry

"A true entrepreneur” and a “real giant, pioneer and trailblazer”. These were just some of the words used to describe industry icon Harry Goodman, who passed away this week at the age of 79.

Sophie Griffiths Leader image

And despite once describing himself to TTG as having two sides – “the businessman, and a bit of a playboy and villain” – the number of tributes pouring into TTG this week show just how well-liked and respected Goodman was across the sector.


Not only is he credited with kickstarting the careers of many of today’s senior figures – Hugh Morgan, Peter Long, Jo Rzymowska, Steve Endacott, Trevor Davis and Manny Fontenla-Novoa, to name a few – but Goodman is also considered to have been a “visionary” who shaped the face of the travel industry today.


The TTG archives are testament to this. Goodman steered Intasun (as it was known before it became ILG in 1985) to become the second-largest tour operator at the time, introduced “US package holidays for the masses” in 1979 and launched pan-European low-cost carrier Air Europe, long before the likes of Ryanair and easyJet.


And even when the Gulf War led to the collapse of ILG in 1991, Goodman’s entrepreneurial spirit saw him launch the TV Travel Shop in 1998, which sold for £70 million four years later.


It’s a story that is all the more remarkable given Goodman left school at 16 with no business training.


And it’s a career that will be particularly inspiring to the new TTG 30 Under 30 intake, revealed in this week’s magazine, who will be hoping to emulate such success in becoming Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders.


As Celebrity Cruises’ UK boss Jo Rzymowska recalled: “Goodman made me realise that anything is possible if you are hungry enough to succeed and make it happen. He was a true legend.”

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