Gerald Lawless Appointed as Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council

Gerald Lawless Appointed as Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council

  • Dubai Holding, the global investment holding company, today announced that Gerald Lawless, Head of Tourism and Hospitality at Dubai Holding, has been elected Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) at the Council’s Annual General Meeting in Dallas, United States of America.

Mr. Lawless has been a Member of the World Travel & Tourism Council since 2005, sitting on the Executive Committee since 2008, and as Vice Chairman since 2012. Mr. Lawless will take over from Dr. Michael Frenzel, Chairman Emeritus TUI Deutschland GmbH and TUIfly GmbH. The WTTC Chairman is elected for a term of two years.

Gerald Lawless, Chairman, WTTC, said: “It’s a privilege to have been a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council for the past 11 years. The organisation has been a strong force in promoting tourism and opening up different cultures to so many people across the world, widely benefitting the global economy. I would like to thank Dubai Holding for their support of my involvement with the WTTC.”

Outgoing Chairman, Dr. Michael Frenzel said: “I am delighted to welcome Gerald as WTTC Chairman. Gerald has been an active Member of WTTC, responsible for bringing the Global Summit to Dubai in 2008 and serving on the Executive Committee and as Vice Chairman. His commitment to WTTC’s mission will be invaluable, as the organisation continues to drive recognition of travel and tourism’s social and economic impact amongst governments around the world.”

Mr. Lawless, former Group Chief Executive Officer of the Jumeirah Group is a leading figure in the world of tourism and hospitality. In his 18 years as CEO of Jumeirah Group, he spearheaded the growth of the hotel chain to one of the best-known luxury hospitality brands in the world, expanding the company’s portfolio to 22 hotels in 11 destinations and establishing Burj Al Arab Jumeirah as the most luxurious hotel in the world.

WTTC’s latest data shows that the sector accounts for 9.8% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), contributing over USD$ 7.2 trillion. Last year travel and tourism added 7.2 million jobs to the global economy, supporting a total of 284 million jobs around the world.

In 2015, Dubai achieved double the global industry growth levels for international tourist arrivals when it welcomed 14.2 million people, which firmly positioned it as the fourth most visited city in the world. With travel and tourism currently accounting for up to 30% of Dubai’s GDP, the Emirate is set to welcome 20 million visitors in 2020.