David Scowsill has been appointed president of the World Travel & Tourism Council, replacing incumbent Jean-Claude Baumgarten.
Scowsill – who has also become chief executive of the supranational body – will take up his seat on November 15th following his selection at a WTTC executive committee meeting in New York.
The role will see the former Opodo chief executive represent the interests of tourism’s foremost private sector enterprises to governments worldwide.
He will lead the organisation in addressing the political, environmental, social and technological factors facing the industry, and encouraging the public and private sector partnerships necessary to build strategies and policies for future growth and prosperity.
Speaking at the WTTC’s New York gathering Mr Scowsill said: “My career has been spent in 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.
In addition to his time with Opodo, Scowsill brings private equity and venture capital experience from across the retail, consumer, technology and travel sectors.
He has previously been vice chairman of Worldhotels; senior vice president for sales, marketing & IT at Hilton International; managing director EMEA at American Airlines; regional general manager Asia/Pacific at British Airways; and sales & marketing director at easyJet airlines.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to drive the future direction of its work to address the challenges and opportunities facing the tourism industry,” added Mr Scowsill.
“I look forward to ensuring the Council remains the global focal point for the industry for many years to come.”
David takes the reins of WTTC from current president & chief executive Jean-Claude Baumgarten, who joined the council in October 1999 and has steered the organisation through a decade of opportunity, challenge and upheaval in the industry.
Jean-Claude was instrumental in the creation of WTTC’s annual Global Travel & 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 organisation as a vice-chairman.
“I have made a great many friends among our members, in governments and in other organisations around the world, and have been privileged to share the council’s powerful knowledge and experience with them,” said Mr Baumgarten.
“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.”