The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has announced that Ufi Ibrahim, former chief operating officer of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), will succeed Bob Cotton as chief executive when he leaves later this year.
Ibrahim, who has been at the WTTC for 10 years, has experience working with governments and industry across the world, advising on policymaking and developing frameworks for the long-term success of travel and tourism.
During her time at the WTTC, Ibrahim played a vital role in setting up the Global Travel and Tourism Summit, which will this year hold its eighth meeting of global leaders in Beijing in May.
Ibrahim said she would ‘cherish’ her new responsibilities to ensure the British hospitality industry’s success in the international tourism market.
“Hospitality is a key pillar of Britain’s economy, particularly in the long- term,” she said. “I look forward to working with BHA members and UK tourism organisations – and the government - to advance hospitality’s role as a generator of employment and prosperity across the United Kingdom.”
Bob Cotton departs
Ibrahim will adopt her new role on 19 July this year, after Bob Cotton steps down after 10 years of service. Cotton, who announced his departure last September, will continue to keep his ties with the hospitality industry, remaining chairman of the Hospitality Skills Academy, president of Hospitality Action and a member of the board of Springboard UK.
Sir David Michels, president of the BHA, said that the association, as a result of Bob Cotton's ten years as chief executive, was very highly regarded.
"Bob Cotton has done a fantastic job in ten years but challenges, of course, remain and new challenges emerge and we move on. Ufi Ibrahim will be able to lead the BHA forward at a key time for both UK tourism and the hospitality industry as the country slowly emerges out of recession".
The BHA has said it will continue with 'added vigour' to campaign the new UK Government to take tourism more seriously.