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November 21, 2017

WTTC announces Christopher J. Nassetta as Chairman Elect


 The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today announced the election of Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton, as the Council’s next Chairman.

Mr Nassetta joined Hilton in 2007, bringing with him an extensive background in real estate and hospitality. Since assuming the role of CEO he has transformed the company, bringing Hilton hospitality to 27 new countries by adding 2,200 hotels to a network of more than 5,000 properties in 103 countries and territories. Before taking the company public in 2013, Chris instilled a guest- and employee-focused culture that is recognised today on multiple Great Place to Work lists. He joined Hilton from Host Hotels & Resorts where he was CEO.

Chris has been a Member of WTTC’s Executive Committee since 2011 and Vice Chairman for North America since 2014.

Mr Nassetta will take over from current Chairman, Gerald Lawless, following the Council’s Annual General Meeting, which will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 17 April 2018. WTTC Chairmen are elected for a two-year term.

Mr Lawless, who has been Chairman of WTTC since April 2016, said: “It has been an honour to serve as Chairman of WTTC for the past two years and I am delighted to be handing over to Chris Nassetta to steer the Council into its next phase of development. I am sure that he and Gloria Guevara, WTTC’s President & CEO, will form a strong team to advocate for the economic and social benefits of Travel & Tourism.”

Mr Nassetta said: “I would like to thank Gerald for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the global Travel & Tourism industry. I am also honoured to accept the role as WTTC Chair at a time of amazing opportunity and growth. I believe the Council can play an important role to bring governments and the industry together to deliver smart plans that support both security and international travel. I also believe that the unique scale and reach of WTTC Members can be used to tackle significant global issues, including climate change and global youth unemployment. A Travel & Tourism industry focused on these challenges can deliver great things for this generation and the next.”

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO commented, “I would like to thank Gerald for his contribution during his Chairmanship and congratulate Chris on his selection. Their guidance is instrumental to continue to position Travel & Tourism as the best partner for job creation.”

WTTC’s latest data shows that Travel & Tourism accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP, contributing over $7.6 trillion. In 2016, Travel & Tourism supported a total of 292 million jobs around the world, 1 in 10 of all jobs.

About WTTC:  The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. Every year WTTC, together with Oxford Economics, produces its flagship Economic Impact Report, which looks at the socioeconomic benefits of Travel & Tourism on global, regional and country level. This year the report shows data on 25 regional groupings and 185 countries.

Travel & Tourism is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. The sector contributes US$7.6 trillion or 10.2% of global GDP, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector also accounts for 292 million jobs or one in ten of all jobs on the planet.

For over 25 years, WTTC has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses, who bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making, and raise awareness of the importance of the sector. 

WTTC’s annual Global Summit brings together over 900 delegates to discuss the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the industry, while its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognise the industry’s power to be a positive force in sustainability. This year’s Summit will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 17-19 April 2017.

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