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WTTC announces Julia Simpson as new Chief Executive

WTTC announces Julia Simpson as new Chief Executive
May 13, 2021

The World Travel and Tourism Council has announced that following the departure of Gloria Guevara after four years leading the global tourism body, they have appointed International Airlines Group (IAG) Executive Committee Member, Julia Simpson, as their new President and Chief Executive, effective 15th 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 and 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 Travel and 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 Chief Executive, Arnold Donald, who was recently appointed as Chair of WTTC, paid tribute to Gloria Guevara and welcomed Julia Simpson to her new role.

Donald notes “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 and Tourism sector. I look forward to working with Julia in my role as Chair, to continue building on WTTC’s many successful initiatives.”

Guevara advised “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”.

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 330 million 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.”

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26th November 2020 - WTTC hosts inaugural virtual AGM highlighting importance of international collaboration for COVID recovery

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28th September 2020 - WTTC launches new report on tourism’s future in the wake of COVID-19

21st September 2020 - ATEC aligns with WTTC Safe Travel protocols  

19th September 2020 - The Philippines revealed as 100th destination to receive WTTC Safe Travels stamp

4th September 2020 - WTTC launches Safe Travels protocols for adventure tourism

16th August 2020 - WTTC calls for leadership from Australian Government to save tourism

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9th June 2020 - Global tourist destinations sign up to the WTTC  global safety and hygiene stamp

28th May 2020 - WTTC launches world’s first global safety stamp

13th May 2020 - Trip.com Group to oversee WTTC initiative to help revive tourism sector


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