Royal Caribbean Group's Jason Liberty Named Chairman of CLIA

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced that Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty has been appointed chairman by its Board of Directors. Liberty succeeds Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, who served in the role since January 2021.

“On behalf of the CLIA community including ocean, river and specialty cruise lines, suppliers, business partners, travel advisors and agencies, I would like to congratulate Mr. Liberty on his appointment as CLIA chair. Mr. 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, president and CEO of CLIA. “Mr. Liberty is a highly versatile and strategic leader who will help us build on this resurgence of travel and realize our global operating ambitions."

“I would also like to thank Mr. 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,” Craighead added.

Liberty became Royal Caribbean Group’s president and CEO in early 2022, following a career spanning nearly two decades in the cruise industry and having served as the company’s chief financial officer for many years. Last year, he drove powerful gains in the group’s business, becoming one of the top-performing stocks of the year, according to CLIA. He stewards three 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 is a 50 percent owner.

“I am excited and honored to lead this organization as we enter a new era of cruising. With consumer demand continuing to accelerate, we are doubling down on our commitment to decarbonization and sustainable growth, ensuring that we are not only investing in our oceans and communities but preserving them for generations of travelers 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 travelers that create positive ripple effects across the globe.”

Cruise is one of the fastest-growing sectors of travel and tourism and is forecast to reach 106 percent of 2019 levels in 2023—with 31.5 million passengers sailing—and approximately 35 million passengers in 2024.

The global chair for CLIA 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 representing 95 percent of the world’s ocean-going cruise lines. As part of CLIA’s long-term strategy, CLIA member lines have set inspiring sustainability goals, and each year the CLIA member fleet becomes more efficient as member lines embrace new technologies, innovations and, as available, the uptake of sustainable alternative fuels.

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