WTTC appoints Julia Simpson as new President & CEO


Julia Simpson, currently Executive Committee Member of International Airlines Group (IAG), will replace Gloria Guevara with effect from August 15, 2021.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) appoints International Airlines Group (IAG) Executive Committee Member, Julia Simpson, as President & CEO, effective August 15, 2021.

Simpson brings extensive experience in 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.

Paying tribute to Gloria Guevara and welcoming Julia Simpson to her new role, Arnold Donald,  President, and CEO, Carnival Corporation 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,” he added.

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.”  She continued, “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 in 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.”

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She further stated, “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.”

Gloria Guevara departed the council after four years of 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 most difficult year in history and has helped unite the sector and define the path for recovery.