7-9 May 2023
Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh
Gloria Guevara Manzo
Chief Special Advisor
Ministry of Tourism - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Gloria joined the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia in May 2021 to support the impressive transformation that is part of the KSA 2030 vision.
Saudi Arabia opened to Tourism in September 2019, a year when tourism’s GDP grew 14% making it, the best global performer. The country has the goal to be one of the top 5 destinations in the world and to create one million jobs by 2030. Gloria’s years of experience in public and private sector will contribute to such important objectives.
Before this, she led the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) since August 2017 as President and CEO. WTTC is the body that represents global private travel & tourism worldwide. A sector that generates 10% of GDP and employs around 300 million jobs.
She was the global voice for the sector and under her leadership the council led the agenda during the most difficult crisis in history, the covid19 pandemic. WTTC successfully unified the sector and implemented measures to reduce the impact such as the creation of global protocols to Safe travels and a stamp that was granted to more than 250 destinations around the world. The council also had an active engagement with 150+ governments to share best practices and public policies to support workers and the private sector, including millions of SMEs in addition to provide guidelines from lessons learned for a strong recovery.
During her time, Gloria also achieved important milestones, including defining the climate and environmental agenda for WTTC and its members in partnership with UNFCC, UNEP and HSPH. And successfully hosted important event such as first “global environment and climate action forum”, “Regional leaders’ forums” and WTTC global summits, where she hosted former Presidents Obama, Calderon, Santos, Aznar and heads of state such as Sanchez, Macri and several other world leaders to support the sector.
Before her departure WTTC hosted the first global international event after pandemic, the Cancun summit with great success leading the reopening of international travel in a safe way.
Her career in the travel industry started in 1995 at the Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Holdings, she was later CEO of JV Sabre Mexico reporting to a board of directors from Aeromexico, Mexicana, and Sabre. In March 2010 President Calderon appointed her as Minister of Tourism and two weeks after she was given in addition the full responsibility of the Mexican Tourism Board. Under her leadership the “National Agreement for Tourism” in Mexico was created in 2011 and for the first time “the importance of Travel & Tourism” was included in the G20 declaration of leaders in Los Cabos.
Gloria received the Good Neighbour Award from the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and Virtuoso awarded Mexico the best tourism board in the world due to her successful branding and repositioning efforts. She has received multiple recognitions from Academia and private sector, including the leading organization in her own country.
In addition, Gloria was Special Advisor on Government Affairs to Harvard University the school of public health, and part of the Future for Travel, Tourism and Aviation Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF). She was recognised as one of the most influential women in Mexico by CNN, Forbes and Expansion.
She holds a BS in Computer Science from Anahuac University and MBA from Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University.
Gloria was also formerly on the boards of HSBC Mexico, Playa Hotels & Resorts and other important organizations.