Gerald Lawless, originally from Galway and a former graduate of he Shannon College of Hotel management, has been named as the new chairman of the the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Lawless (pictured), former Group Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group and now Head of Tourism and Hospitality at Dubai Holding, 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.
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. He will take over from Dr. Michael Frenzel, Chairman Emeritus TUI. The WTTC Chairman is elected for a term of two years.
The new chairman, who has said he's extremely proud of his Galway roots and who has worked tirelessly with the Irish community in Dubai for many years, said that he believes that tourism can be a strong and influencing global force for good.
“Over the past 11 years, I have been privileged to be a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council. I believe strongly in the mission of the organization, which advocates the benefits of Travel & Tourism, not only to the global economy but also to society in general.
“Travel and tourism is and will remain a force for good. It deserves a lot more recognition from governments worldwide.”