WTTC appoints David Scowsill President & CEO

The World Travel & Tourism Council today announces the appointment of David Scowsill as its new President & CEO. Formally starting in the role on 15 November, Scowsill will continue the organisation’s work to raise awareness of the importance of Travel & Tourism and its US$5.8 trillion value to the global economy.

As President & CEO David Scowsill will represent the interests of Travel & 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 WTTC’s Executive Committee meeting in New York this week, David says: “My career has been spent in Travel & 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 organisation has a vital role to play in raising awareness of the true value of the industry, which accounts for 9.2% 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 & 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, Worldhotels; Senior VP 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.


Welcoming David’s appointment, WTTC Chairman Geoffrey Kent says: “It is a pleasure to announce David’s appointment as WTTC’s new President & 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 & Tourism businesses, which is expected to more than double over the coming decade.”

David takes the reins of WTTC from current President & CEO 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.

Geoffrey Kent continues: “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 & CEO, Jean-Claude Baumgarten, for his service to the organisation and to the interests of Travel & Tourism. WTTC is a stronger organisation 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 & Tourism, I am looking forward to taking on new challenges,” says Jean-Claude Baumgarten.

“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. 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.”