Harry Goodman was presented with the Balearic Gold Medal by President Gabriel Cañellas and tourism minister Jaume Cladera in 1989. | Archive

Harry Goodman, considered one of the founding fathers of mass tourism in the Balearics, especially Majorca, revolutionised package and family tourism, and there are still scores of people at the top of the industry today who learnt the ropes under his wing.

The founder of International Leisure Group and mastermind behind a host of historic travel brands left school at 16 and later became a multi-millionaire and one of the industry’s most influential figures.

After retiring he would spend a great deal of time at his home in Costa d’en Blanes, keeping in regular contacts with the many friends he had made on the island during his career. In the Balearics, in particular Majorca, he was considered the king of tourism and treated so by politicians who greatly valued how he helped to develop the tourist industry, create thousands of jobs and inject millions of pesetas (as the currency was then) into the local economy.

People who had worked for and with him over the years yesterday spoke of how hoteliers were building hotels for Goodman knowing that he would fill them. On the day his new brochures hit the travel agents, people would be queuing to snap up their family summer holidays.

He changed the dynamic of package holidays. But Goodman, who took on the big boys of the travel industry and beat them at their own game, also raised significant amounts of money for charitable causes. As Chief Barker of the Variety Club of Great Britain he raised more than £20 million for disadvantaged children in the UK.

Hugh Morgan, non-executive chairman of Broadway Travel Group who worked for Goodman at senior levels for some 40 years said yesterday: "Harry was one of the greatest entrepreneurs of this business. It’s always extremely sad when you hear that someone like him has passed away.

"He was way ahead of his time and extremely loyal to the people who he surrounded himself with. That’s not to say he was easy to work with. He knew what he wanted and more often than not he got it. But he had charisma, he enjoyed what he did, he loved to travel too and he put fun into holidays, and the public appreciated that. I remember once I had to open a disco at 1pm in Gomila, he was coming over with a plane full of senior staff and wanted to hold a big party. He was larger than life."