Two of the global travel industry’s leading figures have joined an industry advisory board set up by marketing and communications agency Finn Partners to support businesses and destinations recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taleb Rifai, former secretary general of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and David Scowsill, president and chief executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) until 2017, have been confirmed as founding members of the new travel practice advisory board at Finn Partners.

The board will combine expertise from across the agency’s global health, tech, public affairs and sustainability practices.

Scowsill said: “The vaccination roll-out globally will ensure the world starts the long road to economic recovery in the second half of 2021.”

“As brands start to market their products once more, concise and transparent communication to customers has never been more important.”

He added: “The world’s economies have shown resilience to recover from the most-severe financial crises [in the past] – driven by pandemics, wars, terrorism, currency or banking meltdowns.”

Rifai said: “We are proud to be the founding advisors and excited to be working with an independent agency with such a formidable reputation in the travel industry.”

FINN Partners founding partner Peter Finn welcomed the pair, saying: “Their insights will provide valuable counsel as we navigate through one of the most-challenging periods in our history.”

Debbie Flynn, Finn Partners global travel practice lead, said: “I can’t think of a better ‘dream team’. Their wealth of experience will support our work to provide cross-practice expertise as we set out on the path to recovery. “

She added: “This advisory board is a natural progression of the Global Recovery Network we set up at the height of the pandemic to guide recovery planning.”