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Industry pays homage to "loved and respected" Maarten Tromp

Former cruise industry icon passes away after battle with cancer

Pictured: Maarten Tromp, who lost his battle to cancer this week

Tributes are flowing for the widely-loved events industry member Maarten Tromp, who has died after a short battle with cancer.

Holland-born Tromp - whose career includes senior management levels at Silversea Cruises, Inflot Worldwide, yacht cruise company Ponant and cruise agency Equity Group - has been remembered as a kind man who was "one of the greats".

The news was broken by Tromp's wife Tricia, who thanked friends and industry members in an email for their words of love and support, and for the "amazing tributes".

Jane Filler, of representation company fivestarfiller, paid an emotional tribute to her friend of 30 years, saying she and Tromp often referred to each other as one another's 'twin' after discovering they shared the same birthday.


"He was knowledgeable, intelligent, warm, kind and funny as hell without always meaning to be! In my days at Virgin Atlantic, I did my first ever fam trip with him and Malcolm O’Neill – it was truly crazy and I still have visions of him at Fort Lauderdale airport with a luggage cart loaded with baggage going up an escalator when it stopped midway!


"He had always been involved in the cruise market during our time as friends and few people knew more than he did about ships and all things shipping. Once you met Maarten, you would never forget him because of all the qualities I’ve described. It’s a massive testimony to him and his lovely family that social media is in meltdown over his death.


"Our industry will be a sadder place for the loss of Maarten as indeed the world will be too. I am glad I had the chance to spend some time with my 'big bro' in his last couple of weeks and I’m very grateful to his family for their incredible unselfishness in sharing his last days with friends who loved him greatly."


Meetings Guru managing director David Hackett said Tromp was a pioneer for corporate and incentive cruises.


"Martin was always a larger than life figure. Cheerful, professional and always enthusiastic. He was probably the UKs foremost expert re cruising for corporate groups having worked for Ponant- Yacht Cruises and twice Silversea Cruises; that after earlier roles with Penta, Intercontinental and Marriott hotel groups," he said.


"Throughout his association with the meetings industry he built a powerful network of contacts, many of whom became friends. Indeed his strength was that he represented the companies he worked for but always fought the battles to deliver best possible outcomes for his clients. Hence his strong relationships and many friendships. 


"He was always visible ( and audible - he held strong opinions ) at industry events and his presence will be greatly missed."

Friend Gerry Manser, events director at Travel Places, said: "How exactly do you encapsulate a truly good man’s life into just a few words? Well the simple answer is you can’t… but like most who had the privilege of knowing Maarten as either as a colleague or a friend  (and one invariably led to the other) it’s difficult to overstate the huge impression Maarten left on so many folks who had the good fortune of working with him in the cruise business and on ship chartering.

"Kind, gregarious and larger than life; invariably willing  to go the extra mile to make things happen;  trustworthy and positive -  but always realistic;  glass half full (but often not for long!) –  these will strike a chord with many who had the good fortune to know Maarten. He was also the ultimate font of knowledge within the labyrinth that is the cruise industry – put simply, if it floated and Maarten didn’t know the answer,  then the question probably didn’t warrant asking in the first place.   

 "Even during the last few weeks as Maarten’s health continued to deteriorate, he remained absolutely positive and upbeat – you could tangibly feel the love  between Maarten, Trisha and their children, so I feel incredibly privileged and thank them for allowing me to share this time with them and others who also greatly loved Maarten.

"Anyone who spent a significant amount of time with him will have their own special “Maarten moment”, and surely reflecting on theirs now . But the common thread will inevitably include love and affection, and  respect for one of the good guys in our industry – Tot ziens, Maarten!"

Robbert-Jan Meinardi wrote in a Facebook post: "We have lost one of the MICE industry legends! Maarten my friend you will be missed ... I open a nice bottle of wine and toast on you ... RIP my friend ! RJ."

Steve Pinnock, MD at Performance & Event Management, added: "So sorry to hear of the tragic loss of the much loved and respected Maarten. He will be sadly missed by so many all around the world. Thoughts and prayers with you all now."

Events and marketing consultant Paul Evans, of Eveology, wrote: "RIP Maarten ... one of the greats and the nicest guy I've met in the industry."

Destinations UNLIMITED's Nikki Mitchell said added:"You will be truly missed Maarten one of the true characters in our industry and great friend. My thoughts are with you Tricia and your family."

Konstantin Yakushev said Tromp was passionate about the cruise industry and described him as a "big man with a BIG heart". 

CAT Publications sales director Stephen Lewis said: "Maarten you set sail too early, cruelly taken off course. I will remember you as caring, amusing, lover of people and life. You will be sadly missed and I wish your family well in this saddest of times."

A funeral date has not yet been set.

  • Karin de Graauw of BBT Online 23/10/2017

    It's only now that I hear this sad news. Even if I met Maarten only once per year, he was dear to me. He had such an excellent sense of humour. Will miss him.

  • richard palkowski of delca systems 23/03/2017

    hamba gahle marten

  • Bozena Bayliss of Gbt 03/02/2017

    What a loss to us of of the great giant always laughing and joking.Gone too young having a large gin and tonic with Leno of London. Rest in peace xxxx

  • Chris Clarke of Purple Dog Solutions 03/02/2017

    No amount of words can express the sadness that I and anyone who ever met this gregarious, gentle (and extremely funny) gent must feel. He joins the many greats of our industry (and beyond) in another place. RIP lovely man and my thoughts to his family.

  • Richard Waddington of EMA 03/02/2017

    A very sad loss, fond memories. A larger than life character in many ways.

  • Denise Ellis of Conference Contacts 02/02/2017

    Maarten was simply one of the kindest people I have ever met. He took the time to help you no matter how busy his schedule was and he always had words of encouragement when life got a little tough! He was an amazing ambassador for our industry and I can only say how much he will be missed. My thoughts are with Tricia and his family. RIP Maarten we all love you so much.

  • David Hackettt of Meetings Guru Limited 01/02/2017

    Maarten was a big man in every sense: a big player in the Meetings industry ; a big personality; with big opinions ; and with a big sense of humour ; always big on friendships. He will be sadly missed. My thoughts to his wife, family and friends. We have lost an industry great - they have lost so much more. RIP buddy.

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