Mel Tye, founder and president of Tye’s Top Tour & Travel in Merrimack, N.H., died March 22nd after fire fighters at his residence discovered his body and tried to revive him, to no avail. Tye won many local awards for his innovations in developing tour programs. He was a fixture at tour operator trade shows where his predisposition to what some would call unabashed candor, would leave suppliers with an impression of rudeness. We once witnessed him on the floor of the ABA Marketplace show telling a supplier who was trying to arrange an appointment during the open period that he had no interest in her product and didn’t want to waste her time or his. But Mel was unquestionably bright, often offering piercing insights into the business and how to package tours. Additionally, while Mel may not have been an early adopter of the Social Internet, he was certainly one of the few tour operators who had the vision to use it as a sales tool. In 2015 he signed up for a digital marketing course at a local community college and regaled his Facebook followers, many of who were his customers, with tales of an aging (he was 58 at the time) student trying to keep with the Millennials who grew up with a digital existence. Tye was 62 years old when he died.
Gale Carlill, co-founder and joint managing director of UK-based travel trade representation company Worldwide Attractions, passed away on March 20th, following a long battle with ovarian cancer. Gale, who worked at her company for 16 years, was an exceptional person who touched so many people with her thoughtfulness, intelligence and professionalism. She will be immensely missed by her colleagues, clients and all her friends in the travel industry.