News / WTTC announces leadership changes
Gloria Guevara steps down as President & CEO, Julia Simpson to take over the helm
May 12 - The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, announces the departure of Gloria Guevara after four years leading the global tourism body.
The former Tourism Secretary of Mexico, Guevara, joined WTTC in August 2017, has led WTTC and its Members through a transformational agenda over the past years, including the sector’s significant impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Guevara was the strong voice in leading the global Travel & Tourism sector through its the most difficult year in history and has helped unite the sector and define the path for the recovery.
WTTC is delighted to announce the appointment of International Airlines Group (IAG) Executive Committee Member, Julia Simpson, as its President & CEO, effective August 15th.
Simpson brings extensive experience of the Travel & Tourism sector, having served on the boards of British Airways, Iberia and most recently as Chief of Staff at International Airlines Group. She previously worked at senior levels in the UK Government including advisor for the UK Prime Minister.
Carnival Corporation President and CEO, Arnold Donald, who was recently appointed as Chair of WTTC, paid tribute to Gloria Guevara and welcomed Julia Simpson to her new role.
Arnold Donald said: “I would like to first thank Gloria for her dedication and commitment to WTTC, especially in these difficult times. Her contributions have been immeasurable, from helping to unite the sector as it manages and recovers from the pandemic, to providing a clear voice and direction for the safe restart of international travel. And I and the entire executive committee are grateful for Gloria’s continued help through this transition and her support to WTTC.
"I am delighted to welcome Julia Simpson, an exceptional leader with experience both in the private sector and in government, to help guide WTTC at this critical juncture of the Travel & Tourism sector. I look forward to working with Julia in my role as Chair, to continue building on WTTC’s many successful initiatives.”
Gloria Guevara said: “It is with a heavy heart that I leave WTTC. I am very proud to have led this diverse and talented team and to have worked with so many amazing industry leaders, who are WTTC’s Members, and built strong relationships with government heads of tourism around the world.
“I leave WTTC after completing my mandate, in a stronger position as the voice of the private sector and the leader of the global agenda. I know that under Julia’s solid leadership, WTTC will continue to build on this legacy and lead it into its next chapter, championing the entire global Travel & Tourism sector to its recovery.”
Julia Simpson said “It will be a great privilege to lead WTTC as it emerges from the worst crisis in our history. Travel & Tourism plays a critical role to our economies across the globe, accounting for 330m jobs in 2019. In many communities it is the backbone of family run businesses that have been left devastated.
"The Travel & Tourism sector has shown real leadership in ‘reopening’ the world safely and securely; and I look forward to shaping and driving the sector’s ambitious agenda to achieve long-term sustainable and inclusive growth.”
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