The travel industry is in mourning after hearing of the loss of Nick Zaferis who passed away last Tuesday (26th March) in Sydney.
Much loved and admired by so many, Nick was the Managing Director at iTravel Liverpool, in Sydney and a devoted husband, father and travel industry aficionado having notched up 35+ years of service.
In his stellar career, Nick was the National Industry Sales Manager at Hertz Australia for 19 years, Sales Manager NSW/ACT/QLD for American Airlines for 8 years and Area Sales Manager NSW/ACT for Australian Airlines for 3 years.
A total livewire, the ever hilarious Nick was renowned for his positive and caring attitude and willingness to perform on stage at countless travel industry events and conferences for the crowd’s entertainment, often in costume.
Over the years, Nick’s unbridled talent and reputation for entertaining got so big that when he was at Hertz, he and Tristan Freedman from California Tourism joined up and began a journey of performing the Beach Boys, Abba and Beatles numbers as they spruiked self-drive holidays around the USA for travel agents. They even released a CD – “3 Years: 3 Tears”.
I first had the pleasure of meeting Nick around 10 years ago when I ended up seated next to him on a flight up to Shanghai for a Travelscene American Express conference. While we’d only just met, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much on a plane, such was his sharp wit and infectious, relentless banter.
The following day at the conference I was laughing even more, when he then appeared on stage representing Hertz, on his own, and in full drag dressed as Tina Turner belting out a sales tweaked version of “Simply the best”.
As with all of Nick’s performances, a rousing standing ovation followed from the entire audience. Powerpoint was never Nick’s sales tool of choice. Nick was all about bringing joy and making others happy.
Nick was also a mad keen golfer and was often found galavanting off somewhere with fellow industry peers on a golf day or tour overseas. He was a regular in the USA and often represented the Australian travel trade bringing his flair and character to life American audiences which of course they lapped up too.
Many of you out there in the industry who also knew Nick will have your own personal experiences so I’d like to invite you to share those special moments with everyone here in the comments below.
At this sad time, our thoughts here at KARRYON are with Nick’s family, his close friends and indeed everyone who was personally touched by having the honour and privilege of knowing such a beautiful, caring human being.
You will be missed by all of us in the industry Nick, and we know you’ll be keeping those fairways green and lush and lively up there in heaven.
A celebration of Nick’s life will be held on Tuesday 9th of April at 10 am at Bonnie Doon Golf Club, 38 Banks Ave, Pagewood, Sydney.
Rest in peace Nick.
Did you know Nick? Please share your kind thoughts and condolences below.
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