IAG chief of staff Julia Simpson will take over from Gloria Guevara as president and chief executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) later this year, it has been confirmed.
WTTC paid tribute on Wednesday (12 May) to former Mexican tourism secretary Guevara, who it said had led the council through a "transformative agenda" since joining and taking up the top role in August 2017, and latterly the global Covid crisis.
"Guevara was the strong voice leading the global travel and tourism sector through the most difficult year in history, and has helped unite the sector and define the path for the recovery," said the WTTC.
Simpson will take over from 15 August bringing extensive travel and tourism experience to the role, having served on the boards of British Airways and Iberia, and latterly as chief of staff at IAG. She has previously worked at senior levels in the UK government, including as an advisor to the prime minister.
President and chief executive of Carnival Corporation Arnold Donald, recently appointed chair of the WTTC, paid tribute to Guevara’s "immeasurable" contribution to efforts to unite the sector during the Covid crisis, while providing a clear voice and direction on the safe resumption of international travel.
Guevara said it was with a heavy heart she left the council. "I am very proud to have led this diverse and talented team, to have worked with so many amazing industry leaders, 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”.