THE founding patriarch of the The Travel Corporation (TTC) died at the age of 91 last month.

Stanley S. Tollman, described in a statement from his family as a “visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist”, started out in the travel and tourism sector way back in 1954, when he and his wife Beatrice used their wedding money to purchase the Nugget Hotel in Johannesburg.

From there, the Tollmans became leading hoteliers in South Africa based on the principles of impeccable customer service, soon spinning the growing hotel business into a major tourism enterprise, founding The Travel Corporation with the purchase of Trafalgar Tours, a pioneering brand that defined Tollman’s love of international travel. Lamentably, an inhospitable political environment in South Africa meant that Tollman and his family were forced to emigrate and rebuild their empire in England in 1976, and later the United States.

In 1996, Tollman made a move on the Australian market when he purchased AAT Kings, which he built into the foremost South Pacific travel brand, representing the very best of Australia and New Zealand travel. He also brought the world to Aussies through the Inspiring Journeys, SEIT Outback Australia, Adventure World, and Down Under Tours brands.

He died last month in France after a battle with cancer.