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Tourism council appoints new CEO

Aug 07 2017 13:01
Carin Smith

Cape Town - The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced the appointment of Gloria Guevara Manzo as its new President and CEO.

Guevara served as Secretary of Tourism for Mexico and CEO of the Mexican Tourism Board from 2010 to 2012, and minister in the cabinet of President Felipe Calderón.

Prior to that she worked for global distribution system Sabre where most recently she was CEO of Sabre Mexico, reporting to the board of directors of a joint venture between Aeroméxico, Mexicana and Sabre Holdings.

She is currently special adviser on government affairs for the Centre on Health and the Global Environment at the School of Public Health, Harvard.

Travel and tourism generated 1 in 10 of the world’s jobs in 2016, according to a recent report by the WTTC.
WTTC’s Economic Impact Report 2017, which is conducted in conjunction with Oxford Economics, researches the economic impact of Travel & Tourism impact on global level, for 25 regions, and 185 countries.

According to the research, travel and tourism grew by 3.3% in 2016, generating $7.6trn worldwide, which is 10.2% of global gross domestic product (GDP) when the direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector supported a total of 292 million jobs in 2016, which is 1 in 10 of all jobs in the world.

Additionally, global visitor exports, which is money spent by foreign visitors, accounted for 6.6% of total world exports, and almost 30% of total world services exports.

READ: Tourists increasingly switching to ‘safer’ destinations

Announcing Guevara’s appointment, Gerald Lawless, WTTC chair, said she is a proven leader, who is well known and well respected within the global travel and tourism sector.

"I am delighted that she will lead WTTC into the next phase of its development. Gloria was chosen from a competitive field of international candidates. With a career encompassing senior roles across the private sector, government and academia, she brings a unique combination of experience and expertise,” said Lawless.

Guevara said she is excited to be taking up the role of president and CEO of the WTTC.

"Over the past few years, WTTC has grown enormously in stature and impact. I look forward to building on this great foundation to expand the council’s advocacy work for travel and tourism, a sector which accounts for 10% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 1 in 10 jobs," she said.

"This is a critical time for travel and tourism and the 292 million people whose jobs depend on it. Future forecasts are strong, but with ongoing terrorism and environmental challenges, compounded by a world which is simultaneously ever more connected yet increasingly divided, now, more than ever, the sector needs to come together with one voice."

The global travel and tourism industry remains resilient as consumers continue to travel, but they are switching to destinations which are perceived to be "safer", according to a report by the WTTC.

The report emphasises that tourism destinations must continue to focus on security to ensure that their markets remain resilient.

The research found that in countries where attacks have happened, money spent by foreign visitors suffered. The impact of the initial attacks were furthermore compounded by inaccurate or extended travel advisories and consumer reaction to seek perceived "safer" places for their vacations.

In her view, travel and tourism needs to show not only its economic importance, but also how it is committed to creating sustainable livelihoods, protecting nature and cultures, and asserting itself as a responsible and leading player in the fast-evolving world.

"I am looking forward to working with the chair, vice chairs, executive committee and members of the WTTC to ensure that the voice of travel and tourism is heard and understood by governments around the world,” she said.

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