Vertical Systems’ David Trunkfield brought a 45-year career in travel to an end last week announcing his retirement from the travel technology developer.
Trunkfield, who left Vertical after 28 years, including a short stint with other travel firms, has been a leading advocate for the widely-used Tarsc back office system.
He was one of the first users of the original Tarsc when he set up his own travel agency Trunkfield Travel in 1988.
Despite turning over more than £1 million in his first year the agency was forced to shut in 1992 as a result of the recession in 1991 and the demise of ILG.
However, Trunkfield went on to become a familiar face among UK travel agents and was respected for his in-depth knowledge of Tarsc.
Vertical managing director Chris North said: “David has been an avid supporter of our back-office system Tarsc and during his career would be out selling Tarsc or training agents on it. Tarsc is engrained in his blood.
“He is well connected, everyone knows him, and he is well-respected – one of the industry’s good guys.”
Prior establishing how own business, Trunkfield managed Lonsdale Travel for eight years and was a sales manager for the ILG Group from 1975 to 1980, tasked with increasing sales for tour operator Intasun in the Midlands to overcome the dominance of Thomson Holidays and Horizon Holidays.
His first job in travel was for Thomson Holidays as its first rep in Scotland in 1971.
Trunkfield said he had loved the job of meeting and selling to travel agents around the country, travelling a distance of around 20,000 miles a year on the road.
“I built a relationship with agents and helped train them all around the UK,” he said. “I would average 20,000 miles a year and on occasion be asked to drive to the south coast in the morning and the north of England in the afternoon in the early days carrying a desktop, large Sony monitor, OKI printer a modem and all the cables. It could take three visits to unload the car!”
He recalled: “I used to go on the road and do roadshows and sell the idea to people of going on a package holiday. You had to convince them they would be looked after when they got there. Those days were very exciting.
“Getting into technology was the same sort of thing; encouraging people to take on the technology when before they had written everything down.”