London-based global tourism organization, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has appointed Gloria Guevara Manzo as its new president & CEO.
Guevara, who served as Mexico's Secretary of Tourism as well as the CEO of the Mexican Tourism Board from 2010 to 2012, becomes the fourth CEO, and the first woman, to head the WTTC since its founding in 1991. She brings with her substantial tourism industry experience.
"Gloria is a proven leader who is well known and well respected within the global travel and tourism sector," said Gerald Lawless, WTTC Chairman. "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."
Prior to heading up Mexico's global tourism marketing efforts, she served as the CEO of Sabre's Mexico operation, where she established close ties with the airline industry, including Aeroméxico and the now-defunct Mexicana. Currently, she is a special advisor on government affairs for the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard's School of Public Health.
Guevara takes the reins as the organization ramps up its global efforts while undertaking the challenging task of bringing together the tourism industry to speak with one voice.
The WTTC, a membership-based organization, includes more than 150 CEOs from top hospitality companies around the world. Primarily, it strives to use fact-based evidence to ensure government bodies understand the importance of travel and tourism as a leading economic driver.
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Among its core issues is combating the impacts of terrorism on global tourism. To that end, the WTTC works with world governments to encourage them to integrate tourism leadership professionals into their security planning councils. It is also pushing for increased intelligence-sharing across borders while also calling for enhanced security through the use of electronic visas, biometrics and technology.
"I am excited to be taking up the role of President & CEO of WTTC," said Guevara. "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 that accounts for 10 percent of the world's GDP and 1 in 10 jobs. This is a critical time for travel and tourism and the 292 million people whose jobs depend on it."
Guevara, a Mexican national, received her undergraduate degree in computer science at Universidad Anáhuac, located in the greater Mexico City area. She also holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
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