John McEwan is to step down as chief executive of Advantage Travel Centres after eight years at the head of the consortium.

The announcement comes as he also prepares to step down from the role of Abta chairman, a position he has held for the past four years.


A statement from Advantage said McEwan would be retiring from the business on April 30 and passing control to executive directors Julia Lo Bue-Said, Ken McLeod and Colin O’Neill.

Chairman Ron Marks will oversee the activities of the central team in the immediate future, and said the success of the team in delivering the consortium’s current three-year plan meant there was “no imperative” to change the current structure.

McEwan said: “I have given this matter some considerable thought over the last few months, particularly over recent weeks while I have been on leave.

“Whilst I will miss leading Advantage, I think the time is right for me to retire given I am celebrating 50 years in the industry this year.

“I have long said that I have had the privilege of leading one of the strongest management teams in the industry and I am confident they will continue to keep Advantage at the forefront of the independent travel sector.”

He added: “Although I am stepping down from the Advantage role, I do wish to remain within the industry offering my skills to businesses in a non-executive capacity; and from a personal perspective, I have recently become a grandparent and wish to spend more time with my family and close friends within the industry.”

Marks said: “Advantage has a great deal to thank John for during his time at Advantage and he has been a very high-profile and passionate supporter of the independent trade both in his role for Advantage and for Abta.

“Above all, John leaves Advantage in excellent shape with a clear plan for the future, a strong membership base in both the leisure and corporate sectors of the market and with a central team with the talent to take the organisation to the next stage of development.”