Midcounties Co-Operative’s commercial manager Russell Cox is set to join Hurtigruten as a key account manager.

Cox, who starts at Hurtigruten today, will be responsible for developing relationships with consortia, agency head offices and independent trade partners across the UK.

Cox’s role was previously covered in part by Mark Walter, the line’s head of UK trade sales.

Cox told Travel Weekly: “I have missed being on the road and to be totally honest, cruise as a sector is where it is at, particularly expedition cruise.

“In terms of my role, I will be looking after those existing accounts and building those relationships and driving sales.

“The great thing is I understand what agency businesses need because of my previous experience and I can have that conversation with them so we can hopefully drive more business.”

Cox held the position of commercial manager at Midcounties Co-Operative for three and a half years.

In his role, he had a number of responsibilities including sales revenue partnerships varying between £50 million and £500,000 and negotiation of commercial agreements.

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His new role with Hurtigruten is not his first in the cruise industry. From April 2010 to February 2016 before he joined Midcounties Co-Op he worked as an account manager at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

Cox said both the line’s 125 years’ history and the fact that the line has two more ships on order after the launch of Roald Amundsen vessel persuaded him to apply for the role.

“No other line puts the customer experience at the centre of everything it does like Hurtigruten along with sustainability,” Cox added. “Hurtigruten ships have a dedicated science centre specifically for customers.

“The opportunity to join Hurtigruten is one that I did not want to miss.”

Reflecting on Cox’s appointment, Walter said: “Russell brings with him a wealth of experience as a trade partner and supplier, his enthusiasm and creative approach reflects Hurtigruten’s pioneer spirit.”

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