Jean-Claude Baumgarten appointed as World Travel & Tourism Council Ambassador

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced today the appointment of Jean-Claude Baumgarten, former President & CEO of WTTC; as WTTC Ambassador.

The Ambassador programme identifies global travel industry leaders with proven records of success in key markets to work alongside WTTC, bringing strong experience from careers in the Travel & Tourism industry. Selected by Christopher J. Nassetta, Chairman WTTC and President & CEO, Hilton, and Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO, Jean-Claude will work closely with WTTC to expand the Council’s presence, voice, and influence in key markets, working collaboratively on behalf of WTTC.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten graduated from the French business school, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales.  He joined Air France in 1970 and was appointed Regional Manager for West Japan in 1974.  He later became Regional Manager for Thailand and Burma, as well as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia and then General Manager for Japan in 1982. He was also Chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

From December 1997 until July 1998, prior to leaving Air France, Jean-Claude held the position of advisor to the Chairman.   In October 1999 he was appointed to President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council. His tenure saw the establishment of WTTC’s annual Global Summit as the world’s leading Travel & Tourism industry event, and expansion of the organisation into new markets such as India and China. In in November 2010, Jean-Claude became a Vice Chairman of WTTC, a position he held for a year.

Mr. Baumgarten is Chairman and CEO of CREWE Associates and serves as vice Chairman of the Global Economic Forum Macao. He is a board member of Özak REIT a Turkish conglomerate.   Jean-Claude Baumgarten is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur. He is also an Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite and a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. He is advisor in Foreign Trade to both the French Government and the Chairman of the Tourism Commission.  He was presented with the Gold Medal for Tourism by Turismo do Algarve in 2003.

Mr. Baumgarten is one of several WTTC Ambassadors to be announced at the programme’s launch. Other Ambassadors include Gerald Lawless, former CEO of Jumeriah and Immediate Past Chairman of WTTC; Dr. Adolfo Favieres; Dr Michael Frenzel, former CEO of TUI and former WTTC Chairman; Christopher Rodrigues, Chair of the British Council and former Chair of Visit Britain; Kathleen Matthews, former Chief of Global Communications and Public Affairs Officer, Marriott International; with further Ambassadors to be announced at a later date.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, commented: ‘I am delighted to announce the appointment of Jean-Claude Baumgarten as WTTC Ambassador. Mr. Baumgarten, along with our other Ambassadors around the world, possesses deep sector knowledge of the Travel & Tourism industry, following strong career experience within the sector. His proven record of success is representative of the mission and values of WTTC and we look forward to working together on behalf of Travel & Tourism.’

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.