Chairman, World Travel and Tourism Council
Gerald Lawless was elected as Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council in April 2016. He started his career with Forte Hotels which culminated in him setting up and growing Forte’s operations in the Middle East. Af-ter a 23-year career with Forte Hotels, he joined Jumeirah in 1997 and helped establish it as one of the premier lux-ury hotel brands in the world. Taking on the challenge of launching Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel, after the successful introduction of Jumeirah Beach Hotel to an eager travelling public, Mr. Lawless went on to be-come President and Group Chief Executive Offcer of the Jumeirah Group.
Mr. Lawless is also a member of the Global Future Coun-cil on the Future of Mobility of the World Economic Fo-rum; a fellow member of the Institute of Hospitality; and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.
Mr. Lawless is a Graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland. He holds an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration in Hospitality Manage-ment by the Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, the United States; an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the National University of Ireland, Galway; and an Hon-orary Doctorate by the Middlesex University Dubai. He is a recipient of the 2017 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.