Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO, Jason Liberty, has been appointed Chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
He succeeds Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, who has served as President since January, 2021.
“On behalf of the CLIA community including ocean, river, and specialty cruise lines, suppliers, business partners, travel advisers, and agencies, I would like to congratulate Liberty on his appointment as CLIA chair.
“Liberty assumes the chairmanship at a time when the industry is building on the momentum of strong demand and our members are advancing ambitious sustainability initiatives in pursuit of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA President and CEO.
“Liberty is a highly versatile and strategic leader who will help us build on this resurgence of travel and realise our global operating ambitions.
“I would also like to thank Vago for his leadership as chair over the past three years, navigating challenging times and creating a solid foundation for the industry’s future growth,” she added.
Liberty became Royal Caribbean Group’s President and CEO in early 2022, following a career spanning nearly two decades in the cruise industry. He served as the company’s CFO for many years.
Last year, he drove powerful gains in the Group’s business, which became one of the top performing stocks of the year. He heads up three industry-leading brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea, as well as joint ventures in Germany-based TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, of which the company has a 50% stake.
“I am excited and honoured to lead this organisation as we enter a new era of cruising. With consumer demand continuing to accelerate, we are doubling down on our commitment to de-carbonisation and sustainable growth, ensuring that we are not only investing in our oceans and communities, but preserving them for generations of travellers to come,” Liberty said.
“I look forward to working with CLIA leadership and our partners around the world to further position cruise vacations as an accessible and responsible option for today’s travellers that create positive ripple effects across the globe,” he added.
CLIA claimed that the cruise industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of travel and tourism and was forecast to reach 106% of 2019 levels in 2023—with 31.5 mill passengers sailing—and about 35 mill passengers due to take a cruise this year.
The Chair provides leadership to the CLIA Global Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, responsible for establishing the overall strategic direction of the association on behalf of its cruise line members, which represent around 95% of the world’s ocean-going cruise ship operators.
As part of CLIA’s long-term strategy, member lines have set sustainability goals, and each year the members’ fleet becomes more efficient, as the lines embrace new technologies, innovations and, as available, the uptake of sustainable alternative fuels.
CLIA represents cruise lines, suppliers, business partners, and a robust travel advisor community.