Costa Group boss Michael Thamm has been named as chief executive of Carnival Asia.
He will oversee operations in China and the region as part of his expanded role.
Thamm, who has been chief executive of Costa Group since 2012, will continue leading Costa’s global business in addition to his Asia role.
The appointment demonstrates the importance Carnival Corporation attaches to the China market as an “upcoming strong pillar” of its global business.
Thamm’s added responsibilities includes promoting strategic co-operation with the Chinese government and local business partners, and building a long-term, sustainable Chinese cruise industry.
Carnival Corporation partnered with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and CIC Capital Corporation to form a joint venture in China in 2015.
It plans to launch a dedicated brand using ships purchased from Carnival Corporation’s existing fleet and homeported in China.
The joint venture then aims to add new China-built ships to further accelerate growth in what is expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world.
Carnival Corporation chief executive, Arnold Donald, said: “As the first and largest global cruise operator in China, Carnival Corporation is excited to participate in the boom in Asia, and particularly in China, of surging consumer demand from a fast-growing economy.
“This is also in line with the stated objective of the Chinese government shifting from an investment based to a consumer led economy.
“We are committed to accelerating the advancement of the overall cruise industry in China, consistent with the current five year plan.
“Michael Thamm will build on the existing strong momentum and Carnival Corporation’s leading position through his proven leadership skills and exceptional industry expertise.”
Thamm added: “I am excited to embark in the new role, and dedicated to growing our company’s business and its industry-leading presence in the region.
“We will work with partners across the region to build and develop a robust ecosystem for the sustained development of China’s cruise industry, helping China to be a front-runner in the global cruise market.”
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