Colin Trigger, well-known ex-Abta president and chairman of Aito, has died after a long illness.

Trigger, who was 83, ran Scandinavian specialist operator Scantours and was involved with Abta for many years including a term as president from 1994.

He became chairman of Aito in 2000.

Abta financial protection and financial services director John de Vial said: “Abta was saddened to hear of the death of ex-Abta president Colin Trigger.

“Colin was a larger than life character who did great service to Abta and our members both in his time as chairman of the Tour Operators Council and subsequently as Abta president from 1994-1997.

“Colin deserves our thanks and gratitude for everything he did for the association and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Aito chairman Derek Moore said:“Colin Trigger was on Aito’s board of directors (council) for several years before he became chairman in 2000, and served in that role until 2001; he thus oversaw Aito in its 25th anniversary year.

“The 25th anniversary saw a very successful conference in Turin, attended by a record number of Aito delegates.

“Colin was very much as his photo, above, indicates – a genial character, despite being a tough businessman as owner/m-d of Scantours, a longstanding Scandinavian specialist, somewhat ahead of its time compared with the much larger number of such specialists in the market nowadays.

“Many within Aito, and Aito itself, remember Colin as a force of nature and also as a bon viveur; he got the most out of life and was always at the heart of any celebration.

“We are all sad to hear of Colin’s recent death, peacefully at home on April 4, after a long illness, and our thoughts are with his wife Rosemarie and his family at what is of course a very difficult time for them.”

A private family funeral is planned on April 17 in the Devon town of Teignmouth followed by a celebration of his life.

His wife, Rosemarie Kroon-Trigger, has said flowers are being discouraged in favour of donations to Rowcroft Hospice ( which provided high-quality care and support towards the end of his life.