Comment: New travel leaders have big boots to fill

Comment: New travel leaders have big boots to fill

It has felt like something of the end of an era during the past seven days in travel. Three well-known people, who have in their own ways been setting the agenda in our industry, have stepped down from high profile roles.

John McEwan surprised everyone by announcing his retirement from Advantage as his stint as Abta chairman also came to an end. Bill Gibbons officially retired from the Passenger Shipping Association, which itself came to an end to become Clia UK.

And Kane Pirie – unlike the others, by no means in the twilight of his career – resigned as chief executive of Travel Republic.

All three are industry figures with strong views and values who we have quoted widely in Travel Weekly.

While they are all planning to stay involved in the industry in various guises, it’s now time to hand over to the next generation, and as McEwan says in his departing interview, they leave behind teams capable of doing just that.

The industry has seen some significant challenges tackled under the leadership of McEwan, Gibbons and Pirie, and I’m sure the new breed will have no easier a ride.

This flurry of departures coincided with the industry honouring its highest achievers at the annual British Travel Industry Hall of Fame awards.

The ceremony highlighted incredible stories of business success, not least that of Southall Travel, whose boss Kuljinder Bahia became the youngest entrant, aged just 40.

It also honoured some of travel’s brightest young managers and entrepreneurs. It seems we are in good hands.


This is a community-moderated forum.
All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.

More in News