Traveltek Group Ltd has appointed cruise industry veteran Francis Riley to spearhead its ambitious expansion strategy in the Americas.
The former Senior Vice President, International Sales, Marketing and Operations at Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), who is a well-known cruise sector identity, has joined the global travel technology specialist as Senior Vice President Sales, based at the company’s US headquarters in Miami.
Riley is joined by three new US-based sales executives with extensive cruise and leisure experience who will support Traveltek’s business development drive in North and South America, with more appointment announcements imminent.
Under Riley’s expert guidance, the company’s new Americas dream team will promote Traveltek’s award-winning dynamic packaging and cruise packaging technology, filling a gap in the market for sophisticated solutions that drive sales and efficiencies at a time when consumer demand for travel is growing at pace.
“Traveltek is well placed to capitalise on growing demand for technology solutions in the North and South American travel markets with its vast portfolio of advanced tools allowing agents, tour operators and cruise specialists to customise holiday packages according to their customers’ unique requirements,” said Riley.
“I am thrilled to be joining Traveltek at such an important stage in its development and look forward to unlocking the firm’s true potential in the Americas where its sophisticated technology will help clients gain a distinct competitive edge.”
Riley boasts more than two decades of professional experience, having held senior positions across several continents with the industry’s biggest names, including Thomas Cook, British Airways, Tourico Holidays, but predominantly, NCL. He clocked up 12 years of service with the cruise company and has forged a formidable reputation as a results-driven executive with strategic insight and strong mentoring and leadership qualities.
Before joining Traveltek, Riley was responsible for sales, operations, passenger services and marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa at NCL, as well as overseeing the company’s UK headquarters in Southampton, its European offices in Wiesbaden and Malta and its international consumer marketing operation in Miami, covering Latin America, Asia and Australia.
“I am delighted that Francis is joining the organisation at this very exciting time in Traveltek’s history,” said Kenny Picken, President & CEO, Traveltek Group Ltd.
“Given his extensive industry experience in cruise and leisure travel and proven track record in sales, marketing and operations, I am extremely confident in his ability to steer our Americas expansion strategy and lead the sales team in this important growth market.”
The three new Business Development Managers joining Riley’s team are Ivonne Turcios and Yenedi Perez, who will both be based at Traveltek’s Miami HQ, and Clarice Bongolan, who will be responsible for driving US West Coast sales from the company’s Los Angeles office.
Between them the trio have several years of sales and marketing experience in the Americas’ cruise, travel and travel technology sectors, with Bongolan a former Luxury Travel Advisor at Kontiki Tours in LA; Perez most recently working for Cruise & Tours Center and Doral Travel and before that, NCL in Miami, and Turcios, a New Business Development Manager at Amadeus in Miami.
Traveltek’s new focus on North and South America follows a busy 12 months of expansion, which has seen the company grow its global footprint with new regional offices established in the Middle East (Dubai) and Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore).
The company is targeting markets where it has identified strong demand for its award-winning dynamic packaging travel systems and cruise solutions – web-based technology that enables agencies and tour operators to package and sell complex itineraries that include flights, hotels, tours, transfers, car rental, cruises, attractions tickets and more.