Gerald Lawless, Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council and Galway native to deliver guest lecture in GMIT

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Press Office
Press Release

Event open to students, staff and local tourism industry representatives (Wed 31 Jan, 10.45am, Theatre 1000)

GMIT Galway International Hotel School is pleased to welcome Mr Gerald Lawless to the college for the first time. Mr Lawless, Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council and former Group Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group, will address tourism and hospitality students, staff and local tourism industry partners as part of a Tourism Learning Seminar for GMIT’s Bachelor of Business (Honours) in International Tourism programme. The talk will take place on Wednesday, 31st January, 2018, from 10.45am to 12.30pm in Theatre 1000 in GMIT’s Galway (Dublin Road) campus.

Mr Lawless is a leading figure in the world of tourism & hospitality and was elected Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council in April 2016, having sat on its Executive since 2008.  The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel and Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity.  Its mission is to advocate the benefits of Travel & Tourism, not only to the global economy but also to society in general.   

In 2016, he also received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad and was recognised in the category of Business and Education.  Mr Lawless has had a distinguished career in the tourism and hospitality sector in the United Arab Emirates, serving as CEO of the Jumeirah Group for 18 years and is a member of the Global Irish Network. 

GMIT tourism lecturers and programme co-chairs, John Carty and Maria Murphy, say:

“2018 is an exciting time for tourism in Galway city and county, and for Ireland as a whole.  The city’s recent successful bids for European Region of Gastronomy 2018 and European Capital of Culture 2020 builds on previous successes, such as the UNESCO City of Film designation, the Urbanism Great Town award, the Purple Flag award and the FDI Micro City of the Year award. The national and international success of the Fáilte Ireland Wild Atlantic Way initiative has resulted in increased visitor numbers, revenue and jobs to the region, and is a successful brand that makes us stand out on the international stage.  But along with this success, there are major challenges and opportunities ahead for the city, county and the western region”.

The presentation by Mr Lawless will offer all attendees an opportunity to engage with a world leader in tourism and hospitality. 

If you are interested in attending this event, please email by Friday, 26th January.  

For further information on the Bachelor of Business in International Tourism Management programme see: or contact co-chairs John Carty and Maria Murphy  

To learn more about the Galway International Hotel School, Department of Heritage and Tourism and GMIT, see