NEW YORK, NY – The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) today announced the appointment of David Scowsill as its new president and CEO. Formally starting in the role on November 15, Scowsill will continue the organization’s work to raise awareness of the importance of travel and tourism and its US$5.8 trillion value to the global economy.
As president and CEO, David Scowsill will represent the interests of travel and tourism’s foremost private sector enterprises to governments worldwide. He will lead the organization in addressing the political, environmental, social, and technological factors facing the industry, and will encourage the public and private sector partnerships necessary to build strategies and policies for future growth and prosperity.
Speaking at WTTC’s executive committee meeting in New York this week, David said: “My career has been spent in travel and tourism, working in airline, hotel, airport, and online travel and distribution businesses. I have long supported WTTC, and I have enormous respect for its heritage and vision. The organization has a vital role to play in raising awareness of the true value of the industry, which accounts for 9.2 percent of global GDP.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to drive the future direction of its work to address the challenges and opportunities facing travel and tourism. I look forward to ensuring the council remains the global focal point for the industry for many years to come.”
David brings private equity and venture capital experience from across the retail, consumer, technology, and travel sectors. He has worked in most parts of the world for hospitality and consumer brands and some of the biggest global airline names. David has been CEO of Opodo; vice chairman of Worldhotels; senior VP of sales, marketing and IT at Hilton International; managing director EMEA at American Airlines; regional general manager Asia/Pacific at British Airways; and sales and marketing director at easyJet airlines.
Welcoming David’s appointment, WTTC chairman Geoffrey Kent said: “It is a pleasure to announce David’s appointment as WTTC’s new president and CEO. He brings invaluable experience and connections from the aviation industry which – although a major contributor to economic wealth and social prosperity – continues to be disadvantaged by undue legislation and taxation. His financial sector experience will help us draw more attention to the investment poured into countries by major travel and tourism businesses, which is expected to more than double over the coming decade.”
David takes the reins of WTTC from current president and CEO Jean-Claude Baumgarten, who joined the council in October 1999 and has steered the organization through a decade of opportunity, challenge, and upheaval in the industry. Jean-Claude was instrumental in the creation of WTTC’s annual Global Travel and Tourism Summit, the year’s most important event for business leaders in the industry. On his departure, he will continue to actively support and advise the organization as a vice chairman.
Geoffrey Kent continued: “David has a tough act to follow as I, WTTC members, and our London team, say farewell and offer our sincere thanks to former president and CEO, Jean-Claude Baumgarten, for his service to the organization and to the interests of travel and tourism. WTTC is a stronger organization for his leadership, and we will be fortunate to still be able to reply on his invaluable advice in the future.”
“After more than a decade driving the reputation of WTTC and raising the profile of the economic importance of travel and tourism, I am looking forward to taking on new challenges,” said Jean-Claude Baumgarten.
“I have made a great many friends among our members, in governments, and in other organizations around the world, and have been privileged to share the council’s powerful knowledge and experience with them. Our annual summit has become one of the most valuable conferences for our industry, and although I leave WTTC in David’s very capable hands, as a vice chairman, I will continue to help him prepare for the next event in Las Vegas.”