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Farewell Insight International Tours founder: A true hero

Farewell Insight International Tours founder: A true hero
Nick Tarsh with his wife Helen

A man who lived his life to the full and made a positive contribution to the lives of everyone he met and many, many more who he didn’t meet… a true hero – this was Nick Tarsh.

  1. Jobless and with a mortgage and 4 children to support, Nick bravely founded Insight International Tours.
  2. In 1990, he became the founding Chairman of the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), which was established to lobby for the whole industry at the EU level.
  3. Despite his many accomplishments, he felt his greatest achievement was marrying Helen, who barely left his side throughout 62 years of marriage.

Many people will have known him in one walk of life, conscious of his remarkable contribution, without knowing he was just as wonderful in another.

He was the first Jewish head boy of Clifton College, captain of the cadets and captain of the first XV. He represented Liverpool, Lancashire, and England as a schoolboy rugby player and received an England trial as a schoolboy golfer. He won a state scholarship in math and gained a place at Clare College Cambridge where he read law. In the same year that he graduated with first class honors, he also represented Cambridge in the Varsity Match. He has said subsequently that walking out on the turf at Twickenham was one of the proudest moments of his life. But while that was his proudest moment, he felt his greatest achievement was marrying Helen, who barely left his side throughout 62 years of marriage.

After leaving university, he qualified as a barrister, coming fourth in the country in the bar finals. However, the law was not for him, and he opted for a career in business, starting out in the family firm as manager of the Courts furniture store in Walton on Thames. 

At heart, he was an entrepreneur, and it was not long before he wanted to branch out. Backed by one of his uncles, he bought a share in the Overseas Visitors Club (OVC), a venture in Earls Court, London, which he ran for a decade, and in doing so, created what was to become “the destination” for young people visiting the UK for the first time from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and elsewhere.