MSC Cruises has appointed Thomas Cook’s Andrea Stafford as head of retail.
Stafford, who was a regional manager for Cook, will begin her new role on January 3.
She will report into director of sales Steve Williams.
Stafford has previously worked as a regional account manager for Royal Caribbean International and a regional sales manager for Tui.
Her main responsibilities in the newly created role will include managing the newly formed team of regional sales managers and developing the multiple and consortia relationships for MSC Cruises in the UK.
Williams was appointed director of sales in July, having been Royal Caribbean International's head of sales for ten years.
Colin Rillie is also due to start his new role at the end of the month as national account manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, having also joined form Royal where he was regional sales manager.
Managing director UK & Ireland, Antonio Paradiso said: “As per my commitment to the trade, it is fantastic to see a wealth of experience joining the UK & Ireland sales team.
“Stafford brings with her exactly the experience and knowledge we require to develop my long-term vision for the UK & Ireland travel trade. As we enter this period of exceptional growth for MSC Cruises, we are now perfectly placed to build on existing relationships whilst also pursuing new opportunities to collaborate with agents that are the direct gateways to selling our cruises to consumers.”
Williams said: “I am thrilled Andrea will be joining the MSC Cruises team. She brings a wealth of experience both in managing a field sales team and relationships with the large consortia. She understands the high street exceptionally well. She will be excellent at shaping our fantastic team of regional managers that will foster our network amongst UK travel trade partners. Her role will be critical to expand our operations and support our future growth in the UK.”
See also - Special Report: MSC sets course for 'UK comeback'
The Italian cruise opertator plans to double its UK sales team as it aims for growth in the market, Natasha Salmon reports from the line's new offices in west London
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