The World Travel & Tourism Council has announced the appointment of Helen Marano to the newly-created position of director of government and industry affairs.
Ms Marano is currently head of the national tourism office in the United States department of commerce.
Reporting to WTTC president David Scowsill, Ms Marano will be responsible for all aspects of WTTC’s liaison with governments, other trade associations and industry bodies.
Helen has led the US government’s national tourism office in the US department of commerce for 17 years and currently oversees policy and advocacy issues affecting the travel and tourism industries in the United States.
She manages the statistical centre for international travel and tourism for the country, incorporating the economic impact and forecasting of international travel and trends.
Helen brings a strong international perspective to collaboration between governments and private sector for advocacy and regional growth strategies through leadership in bodies such as APEC, OAS and OECD.
Her engagement with the 30-member Travel & Tourism Advisory Board for the secretary of commerce has offered insight for policy positions from the industry to improve the business environment for travel and tourism.
Scowsill said: “Travel and tourism is one of the world’s great industries, accounting for nine per cent of global GDP and 260 million jobs worldwide.
“It is a driver of economic recovery and of greater social cohesion.
“But its importance is still not widely appreciated by governments around the world.
“The appointment of Helen Marano will bring a globally-recognised figure to lead our efforts to work in coalition with other associations to redress how governments perceive our industry and the policies they develop which affect it.”
Ms Marano will take up her new position on January 2nd 2012.