Abhi Dighe, the former boss of Kosmar Holidays, has been remembered as “a true gentleman who was so passionate about everything he did”.
Dighe, who ran the Greece specialist operator as managing director between 1995 and 2008, passed away in hospital on January 21 at the age of 57.
After establishing Kosmar as one of the leading operators to Greece, he later worked as general manager at Goldtrail Holidays.
In August 2016, Dighe launched TVTravelmedia, created to offer the travel trade TV advertising space at affordable prices.
At the time, he told TTG the model would enable smaller travel operators to compete with larger firms.
Marlen Taffarello Godwin, who worked with Dighe for more than 20 years handling PR for Kosmar, said: “Abhi was the easiest client to work with because he spoke from the heart.
“He loved Greece, he had spent years travelling there and knew every corner but above all he loved it so much so he continued to take his children there on holiday.
"Those holidays were, as he told me earlier this month, memorable times that he would treasure for ever.”
Derek Jones, chief executive, Der Touristik UK, tweeted his tribute to Dighe, who he described as “a really lovely man”.
David Winterton, global brand manager for Emerald Waterways, said: “I was really saddened to hear the news of Abhi. I wasn’t a close friend but have known him since the 1990’s when I was commercial manager at Future Travel.
"Abhi was one of the first operators to recognise the potential of a network of homeworkers gaining calls via Teletext, and he provided us with a great product at competitive prices.
“More recently I met up with Abhi at a TTG LGBT event in Manchester and heard all about his TVTravelmedia business. Abhi was a true gentleman, one who was so passionate about everything he did. He was genuinely interested in what other people had to say. The industry has lost one of the good guys.”
Dighe’s funeral will take place on Thursday (January 31) at Overdale Crematorium, Bolton, from 10.30am.