NEW YORK, NY (17 August, 2016) — Michael J. Youngman, travel industry veteran leader, former Director of Marketing for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and former airline executive for American Airlines, died in New York City on Aug. 13. He was 84.
Youngman, an English-born and educated airline and marketing executive came to the United States in the early 1960s and became Vice President of Sales and later Senior Vice President Marketing for Trans Caribbean Airways. In the late 1960s he helped in the evolution of Trans Caribbean into American Airlines and subsequently left the airline industry for a short while to head Winchester Worldwide Safaris based in New York.
American Airlines lured him back into the airline arena in 1971 to work as Director of International Marketing where he was responsible for strategic planning and route development, including conducting feasibility studies for Mexico and Caribbean routes. He was influential in American Airlines’ decision to begin serving the Caribbean and eventually moved into a newly created position as American’s first Director of Marketing for Atlantic/Caribbean after the airline moved its headquarters from New York to Dallas.
Mr. Youngman left American Airlines in 1982 to become Vice President of Advertising and Public Relations for Tromson Monroe Advertising and later Pace Advertising which were both part of the WPP Worldwide Group.
He assumed the position as Director of Marketing for the Caribbean Tourism Organization in November 1991 and held this post until he retired in March 2002 from an extensive and highly successful career in Caribbean tourism. As the CTO’s Director of Marketing, he was responsible for all regional marketing activities worldwide for member states of the CTO.
He served on the Board of the Caribbean Tourism Association (which preceded the CTO) for four terms as Secretary/Treasurer, where he helped to develop and launch the concept of CTO Chapters made up primarily of travel agents selling vacations to the Caribbean. Under his direction, the CTO Chapter system grew to 44 Chapters worldwide including North America, Europe, Australia and in the Caribbean. He also launched educational programmes for travel agents to help them promote and sell Caribbean holidays.
He was the first airline director on the Board of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and continued as a member of the CHA Board while with the CTO. He was also a member of the advisory board to the New York University School of Continuing Education programme in Hospitality Studies and Travel and Tourism Management.
He considered among his most cherished accomplishments the highly successful CTO/CHA Regional Marketing Programme of 1993 that resulted in a 10.4 percent increase in visitor arrivals to the Caribbean in 1993 – 1994. The programme was the first of its kind and has since been copied by other destinations. Youngman also wrote the original CTO Marketing Plan in 1991 which was used as a platform for CTO marketing worldwide.
His expertise was used by the CTO to develop strategies for the first-ever government Tourism Summit meeting in Kingston, Jamaica in 1992 and again for the Tourism Summit held in the Bahamas in 2001. He introduced the first CTO web site in 1995 and was involved as an author and editor in the development of the CTO Tourism Executive Brief.
Youngman received the CTO’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, the same year in which the region launched its Life Needs the Caribbean television campaign which he had helped to develop..
Michael Youngman is survived by his wife of 57 years Arline, a former editor on the New York Times book review.