Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean International’s vice-president EMEA, has been appointed as the new chair of cruise association Clia UK and Ireland.
He will officially take up the role on a two-year basis later this month, working alongside Clia’s team to support its membership of around 4,000 travel agencies and more than 50 cruise lines.
Bouldin succeeds Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice-president UK and Europe, who has held the post for the last three years.
“I’m honoured to step into my new role as Clia chairman for UK and Ireland and look forward to continuing Tony’s excellent leadership during his time on the Clia Executive Committee,” he said.
“Over the past year, the industry has experienced unprecedented challenges, but by innovating and adapting, we have shown how strong we are. It is now more important than ever that we continue to drive the industry forward as we begin cruising again in the UK and globally.”
Bouldin has worked for Royal Caribbean for the past seven years – initially as UK and Ireland sales director before becoming associate vice-president and managing director UK and Ireland in December 2016 and moving into his current position in January 2020.
Outgoing chair Roberts said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Clia Executive Committee, as well as the various working groups and our media and travel agent partners, as we all work together to get more people to choose cruise.
“The past several months have been extremely challenging for our industry, and it has been incredible to see how Clia, supported by experts from across our sector, have pulled together to navigate through this crisis. I am confident that with Ben as the new chair, Clia will go from strength to strength.”
Clia UK and Ireland director, Andy Harmer, added: “We are delighted to announce that Ben will take on the position of chair. His expertise and influence will ensure the cruise industry continues to lead the way as opportunities to travel further open up.
“We want to thank Tony for his incredible hard work and strategic direction during the past three years, which has helped steer Clia and the wider industry through the most challenging period in its history.”