CLIA UK & Ireland has appointed Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean Cruises’ vice president EMEA, as its news chair.

Bouldin will take over the role from Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice president UK & Europe, who has been in the post for three years.

Bouldin has been appointed on a two-year basis and will start later this month.

He will work alongside the CLIA team to support its membership of almost 4,000 travel agencies and over 50 cruise lines as cruising resumes in the UK and beyond.

Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland managing director, said: “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.” 

Bouldin, who is responsible for Royal Caribbean Cruises across Europe, Middle East and Africa, has worked for the brand for the past seven years.

He started as director of sales UK and Ireland, before being appointed associate vice president and managing director UK and Ireland.

He was promoted to vice president EMEA in January 2020.

Bouldin said: ”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.

“Over the last 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.”