Who is Greg O’Hara, the new Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)?

As the new Chairman of WTTC, Greg O’Hara is automatically considered the most powerful person in the private global travel and tourism industry. Looking at his resume he may have been close to this assessment already judging by his background and current positions.

The new incoming Chairman of WTTC is also an American. Greg O’Hara has been a member of WTTC’s Executive Committee since 2019, and Vice Chair since 2021.  He will take over his position at WTTC later this month.

O’Hara will be replacing the outgoing Chairman of WTTC Arnold Donald. Arnold was the former President & CEO of Carnival Corporation since 2021.

WTTC is a UK-based global travel and tourism association with members representing the largest businesses operating in the global travel and tourism industry space.

Who is the new WTTC Chairman Michael Greg O’Hara?

Michael Gregory (Greg) O’Hara is the Founder and Senior Managing Director of New York-based Certares and also serves as the Executive Chairman of American Express Global Business Travel, and Vice Chairman of Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings.

Founded in 2012, Certares brings together a team of experienced private equity and operating professionals with deep industry, investment, transaction, and management experience. 

With $10.7 billion of AUM including co-investments, investing activities focus on several key sectors, including travel and tourism, hospitality, business, and consumer services.

Prior to forming Certares, he served as Chief Investment Officer of JPMorgan Chase’s Special Investments Group (“JPM SIG”).

Prior to this role at JPM SIG, Greg was a Managing Director of One Equity Partners (“OEP”), the private equity arm of JPMorgan.

Before joining OEP in 2005, he served as Executive Vice President of Worldspan and was a member of its Board of Directors.

Greg serves on the Boards of Directors of Tripadvisor, The Innocence Project, and Certares Holdings. He is the Head of the Investment Committee and is a member of the Management Committee of Certares Management LLC.

Greg received his Master of Business Administration degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

With Travel and Tourism sailing into unchartered territory based on the geo-political climate, his experience, influence, and leadership may be essential to help guide the sector through a perfect storm, or an amazing recovery- depending on how the wind will blow.

WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson said:

Addressing delegates at the global tourism body’s 23rd Global Summit in Kigali today, Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said:

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

“We now embark on a new chapter, and I am delighted to welcome Greg as our new Chairman. Greg will bring a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the Travel & Tourism sector, and I believe that under his stewardship, WTTC will reach new heights in a sector that is growing faster than the global economy.”  

Outgoing WTTC Chair Arnold Donald said:

Arnold Donald said: “It has been an honor to serve my fellow WTTC Members as 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.

We are now on a path of responsible and sustainable exceptional growth for Travel & Tourism worldwide.   

“Of course, the tremendous progress achieved across all fronts would not have been possible without the strong foundation I inherited, Julia’s leadership, and the hard work of our WTTC staff. It has been a pleasure serving our Members and working with Julia and her team over the past several years. 

“As my term comes to an end, I am delighted to be passing the torch to Greg, a strong contributing WTTC Member and a distinguished global leader in the Travel & Tourism sector.” 

SOURCE: Who is Greg O’Hara, the new Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)?