Gloria Guevara is stepping down as president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council
International Airlines Group Chief of Staff, Julia Simpson (pictured) will take over the helm on 15 August from the former tourism secretary of Mexico, who has led the global tourism body for four years.
Guevara led WTTC through a transformational agenda over the past years, including the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic. She helped define a path for the recovery.
Simpson brings extensive experience of the travel and tourism sector, having served on the boards of British Airways and Iberia. She also previously worked as an advisor to the UK Prime Minister.
Carnival Corporation President and CEO, Arnold Donald, who was recently appointed as chair of WTTC, 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.”
He went on to welcome Simpson, who he described as “an exceptional leader with experience both in the private sector and in government, to help guide WTTC at this critical juncture of the travel and tourism sector”.
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 and tourism sector to its recovery.”
Simpson added: “It will be a great privilege to lead WTTC as it emerges from the worst crisis in our history.
“Travel and 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 and 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.”