Attraction World head of commercial partnerships Justin Mahoney is to leave the travel industry to take on his first chief executive role.

Mahoney leaves the ticketing and attraction specialist on April 12 after just over three years. It follows a 26 year career in the travel industry, which he started at Club 18-30 and went on to work in a variety of roles at Thomas Cook including head of retail commercial.

He joins kids daytime holiday camp specialist Barracudas, where he will be in charge of 40 permanent staff, and more than 1,000 in the summer. The company runs 46 camps each summer for 30,000 children.

A replacement for Mahoney at Attraction World is currently being sought.

Mahoney said he would be sad to leave Attraction World and the industry but that the opportunity had been too good to pass up.

“I am sad to leave as I’ve had an incredible three years here but this was too good an opportunity to miss. I am leaving a great opportunity here for someone else to come in to work with partners like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and many key agency groups,” he said.

Mahoney said agents remained a “fundamental part” of Attraction World’s business despite the revenue from direct bookings increasing over recent years. “Trade is still very important to us. It is about ensuring the right balance of business and where we can we try to add value to the product agents sell.”