top of page



John Martinen's Roads Less Travelled, Vietnam

Restored July 4, 2020

Thank you Robert LoScalzo for providing a link to one of John's travel videos!   John was interested in creating a travel documentary series in the 1990's based on his own travel experiences.  The video provided is a faithful restoration of the 1999 original video by Robert LoScalzo/LoScalzo Media Design LLC and John Martinen.

A Celebration of John's Life Was held Monday, May 4th, 2015

Thank you very much for your contributions in stories and donations to John Martinen’s Memorial.  Sue Shapiro together with Monica Ramos, President of the NYC Skal Chapter hosted a Celebration of John’s Life in New York City that many people were able to attend. 


John Allen Martinen

New York City — John Allen Martinen, 76, passed quietly on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at the Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital following a recent accident. 


He leaves his cousin Judith Cornelia of Amasa Michigan; his God Daughter AnaMaria De La Puente of Lima, Peru; and many close friends.


Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the son of John Albert and Ina Jarvi Martinen, he moved to New York City in 1960 and became a lifelong resident of the Upper West Side.  From 1990 through 2003 Mr. Martinen kept a second residence in Denver, Colorado.


In his early years, John kept busy with various jobs and a multitude of interests.  After graduating from Forest Park High School in 1956, he attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, graduating in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in Economics, Summa Cum Laude.  As a Root-Tilden scholar, John attended NYU Law School where he completed his law degree and passed the Bar Exam in 1963.  During the 1960s John held many ascending positions within the Grace Cruise Line and grew to love travel and especially love the country of Peru.


After considering law firms and his travel business experience, John decided on a position with what would become the travel brands of Globus and Cosmos.  After starting as the assistant to the Executive Vice President, John worked his way up to be the President/Chief Executive Officer beginning in 1977 – a position he would hold until 1998.  John left Globus and Cosmos to form his own Travel Company in 1999, Vista Travel Ventures with the help of a private equity firm, Thoma Cressey Equity Partners.  Unfortunately the fledgling travel company was shuttered in 2001.  John was briefly associated with Trafalgar Tours before deciding on working with Safe Passage International developing custom insurance programs for travel companies and travel associations. 


Board Positions Held:

  • Academy of Travel and Tourism, New York and Denver: 1988-2000

  • American Society of Travel Agents, Tour Operator Program: 1994-1999, Chairman 1996-1999

  • United States Tour Operators Association Board of Directors: 1994-1999, Secretary 1996-1997; Treasurer 1998-1999; Chairman, Automation Committee,1995-1999

  • Group Voyagers, Inc. (d/b/a Globus and Cosmos): 1978-1998

  • Vista Travel Ventures, Inc.: 1999-2001

  • Condominium Association at 366 Broadway, New York: 1981-1990; Secretary 1982-1987

  • Edbrooke Condominium Association, Denver: 1994-2001, Treasurer 1995-1996, President 1997-2001


Industry and Other Recognition

  • "Tour Operator of the Year" by Travel Agent Magazine in 1996

  • One of the "Top 25 Most Influential Executives in Travel" by Tour and Travel News in 1996

  • Described as "one of the best known and widely respected executives in the industry," August 18, 1997 issue of Travel Agent Magazine

  • Described as "a person of unquestioned integrity," June 11, 2001 issue of Travel Trade

  • Listed in both "Who's Who in America" and "Who's Who in the World"


As a result of John’s lifelong endeavors, many people traveled to various parts of the world. John Martinen sincerely hoped these travel experiences convinced the travelers we live in a great country.

John Allen Martinen

- Born June 26th, 1938

- Businessman, mentor, and life-long traveller.

- Sadly left us on February 4th, 2015.


bottom of page