World Travel & Tourism Council confirms Greg O’Hara as new chair

The World Travel & Tourism Council has confirmed Greg O’Hara as its new chair as the body aims to reach “new heights” while encouraging greater sustainability.

O’Hara, the WTTC’s vice-chair and founder of private equity firm Certares, will take over from Arnold Donald later in November.

WTTC president and chief executive Julia Simpson said O’Hara (pictured) would bring a “deep understanding” of travel and tourism, adding: “I believe that under his stewardship, WTTC will reach new heights in a sector that is growing faster than the global economy.”

More: WTTC highlights tourism growth potential of Africa

O’Hara, whose appointment was announced during the WTTC’s Global Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, served as chief investment officer of JPMorgan Chase’s Special Investments Group prior to setting up Certares.

He is the chairman of American Express Global Business Travel and sits on TripAdvisor’s board of directors.

O’Hara said it was a “great privilege” to be taking the reins from Donald, a former president and chief executive of Carnival Corporation, who has been WTTC chair since spring 2021.

The incoming chair added: “I look forward to supporting our members, WTTC and Julia, as the sector continues to go from strength to strength.”

Donald said it had been an honour to serve as the WTTC’s chair.

“Our members’ collective efforts, facilitated through private and public partnerships, have proven critical to the recovery of our sector from the economic and human effects of Covid,” he said.

“We are now on a path of responsible and sustainable exceptional growth for travel and tourism worldwide.”

Simpson said: “I would like to thank Arnold for his enormous contribution to WTTC, his unwavering dedication and exceptional leadership during his tenure.”

O’Hara has previously served on the boards of directors of Worldspan, Hertz Global Holdings, Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Singer Vehicle Design, and the Innocence Project.

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