Nick Tarsh 1934 – 2021

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Nick Tarsh, one of the founding fathers and guiding lights of ETOA at its foundation.

In business, Nick was responsible for building major travel brands. In the 1960’s he took control of the Overseas Visitors Club and led Trafalgar into being a leading operator for incoming visitors. He then launched Insight as another brand, at the same time establishing Evan Evans as a top sightseeing company. Long after he left the business in 1994 those who had worked with him continued in senior posts throughout the industry. Nick’s legacy continues at board level throughout Europe.

Nick had a wide hinterland. He represented England as a schoolboy rugby player and was trialled to represent his country in golf. Going up to Clare College, he managed in his last  year to appear as a front row forward in the Varsity Match and be awarded a first-class honours degree in Law. Despite having come fourth in the country in the bar finals, he opted to leave the law and go into commerce. Upon retirement, Nick devoted himself to charity. He was active both locally and nationally, becoming Chair of Relate between 2006 and 2012.  His broad-ranging charitable endeavours were recognised with an OBE.

At ETOA, Nick was the founding Chairman, having listened to his brother-in-law Stanley Clinton Davis ask why there was no representation of the European Inbound industry in Brussels. In the first five years of its life, ETOA was run from a desk inside the Insight offices. The Association grew not just through Nick’s patronage and guidance, but from his ability to persuade even fierce commercial rivals that the cause was just and worth backing.  The moral force that he brought to bear was irresistible. That ETOA has flourished is due to the foundations which he helped lay.

Nick died at 5.30 pm on 10th May 2021 after a long illness, which he bore with characteristic grace and determination. He leaves behind Helen, his wife of 62 years, his four children (including David, who has worked for ETOA) and eight grandchildren. He lives on in the memory of the thousands that knew him to be a man of great accomplishments, yet of even greater charm, modesty and kindness.