Julia Simpson becomes CEO and president in WTTC

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global tourism private sector, announces the departure of Gloria Guevara after four years leading the global tourism body. It has also announced the appointment of International Airlines Group (IAG) executive committee member, Julia Simpson, as its president and CEO, effective 15 August.

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.

Simpson brings extensive experience of the tourism sector, having served on the boards of British Airways, Iberia and most recently as Chief of Staff at IAG. She previously worked at senior levels in the UK Government including advisor for the UK Prime Minister.

Gloria Guevara said: “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 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 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.”