Clia UK & Ireland announces May conference speakers

Clia UK & Ireland announces May conference speakers

Clia UK & Ireland has announced its programme of speakers for its 12th annual conference, taking place in Southampton from May 23 to 25.

The industry body will welcome Cindy D’Aoust, Clia’s president and chief executive; Dr Paul Redmond, an expert in educational sociology; Gianni Onoratu, MSC Cruises’ chief executive; Chris Austin, Seabourn senior vice president global sales and marketing; Harry Sommer, the executive vice president, international business development for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; and Rai Caluori, Princess Cruises’ executive vice president guest experience and product development.

The focus for the three-day event is the importance of making cruise appealing to all generations, and strategies and techniques to cut through to different age-groups and demographics, according to Clia.

On Friday morning, the conference will move onboard Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess for the closing keynote from explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and final address from Stuart Leven, Clia chair and managing director and vice-president EMEA of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Andy Harmer, Clia UK and Ireland director, said: “The over-arching theme of the conference is #GenerationCruise. Thanks to the incredible amount of new ships being deliver to Clia cruise lines this year and for the next few years, there is a mind-boggling array of types of cruise and itineraries to choose from; there’s a cruise for every generation.”


Dr Redmond will address delegates about the importance of realising the differences between the generations, and the best ways to talk to them. He will speak about generations X, Y and Z, the graduate labour market, and how companies and organisations can establish, develop and maintain an engaged workforce.

Onoratu will talk agents through the innovations the line has planned for its multiple ships on order and plans surrounding the launch of Bellissima in Southampton next year.

Austin will talk to agents about developments from within the luxury cruise sector, and sales strategies to make the most of these opportunities.

Sommer, who is responsible for all sales, marketing, public relations and office operations for all three NCL group brands outside the United States and Canada, will offer a global view of how the UK sits alongside other divisions.

The penultimate speaker for the day, before Harmer closes the business sessions, is Caluori, who leads the design and execution of all of Princess Cruises’ new products across the world.

Harmer said: “Rai and his team are all about putting the customer at the heart of everything they do. This is a key part of their business strategy and Rai’s presentation will give much food for thought and be beneficial for all agents attending the conference.”

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