Kelly Craighead: “Demand for cruising is exhibiting strong growth, making the cruise industry a critical partner to localities, regions and nations around the world.”

INTERNATIONAL. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has appointed Kelly Craighead, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism in the US Department of Commerce, as its new President and CEO effective 1 January 2019. She replaces Cindy D’Aoust who, in July, announced she would step down at the end of the year.

In the Department of Commerce, Craighead was responsible for advancing travel and tourism priorities within the administration and with Congress. As the first Executive Director of the National Travel & Tourism Office, she led initiatives that generated over US$250 billion annually from international visitors to the US.

She remains active in global tourism efforts and is engaged with several international organisations focused on advancing travel and tourism.

Earlier in her career, Craighead was on The White House staff for eight years until early 2001 as Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States. In that role, she advised President Clinton on a range of domestic and international activities and special initiatives, while developing a network of partners in the US and abroad in public affairs, media and business.

Arnold Donald, Global CLIA Chairman and President & CEO of Carnival Corporation & PLC, commented: “Kelly’s extensive experience in the hospitality and travel industries, combined with her leadership skills and passion for results, are second to none. This is an exciting time for our industry, steeped in opportunity, and I look forward to working with Kelly in the years to come.”

In her new role, Craighead will direct CLIA’s global team to represent, advocate and promote the interests of the organisation’s members and the global cruise industry. She said: “Demand for cruising is exhibiting strong growth, making the cruise industry a critical partner to localities, regions and nations around the world.”

CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, with 15 offices globally and representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. The cruise channel has seen intense interest from the duty free and travel retail industry due to booming cruise passenger numbers and consequent increased onboard shopping.