Those of you who know me will be aware that I pride myself on being my own man and have always fought my corner as an independent agent competing against the might of the big travel groups.


Thankfully, I’ve won more battles than I have lost.


Read more on the fight for the ABTA chairmanshipI have learnt that in business it is seldom wise to let your heart rule your head. When it comes to choosing a new ABTA chairman, that could prove disastrous.


An ABTA chairman needs to balanced, impartial and have a firm approach. A leader should have a broad understanding of the varied opinions held by a diverse membership combined with a thorough understanding of grassroots needs.


Impartiality is a must.


John McEwan has had a long, varied and successful career, most recently spending five years at the helm of Advantage, and has gathered a thorough understanding of grassroots dilemmas.


He’s worked at the coal face too, starting out on the counter, and knows what it is to be a travel agent.


John’s “can do” attitude of making it happen while still maintaining a co-ordinated approach and keeping his team united is much needed.


There are a range of varied needs that ABTA members have and John has proved during his career that he is the man for all.


We need someone who fully understands the complexity of all businesses making up the membership, someone who has the range of skills to champion the travel industry while tackling the Government, the CAA and IATA over consumer protection, APD, VAT and many more important issues of today and tomorrow.


Finding a way forward will not only benefit travel businesses. We cannot forget the long suffering travelling public – we owe them everything and they must be foremost in our plans for the future.


No one else comes close to having the range of skills required for the job. Approachable, a good listener and a tireless champion of all branches of the travel industry – John McEwan is the only man for the job.


Read more about the ABTA election at travelweekly.co.uk/abtarace.