Princess Cruises has appointed Nick Hughes as its sales director for UK and Europe, effective from October 17.
Hughes will replace Rachel Poultney after leaving his role as sales director for Gold Medal, and will report to Eithne Williamson, vice-president of Princess Cruises UK and Europe.
Hughes’s previous experience in the cruise sector includes heading up Cruise Plus, which was initially a programme delivered by Travel 2 but migrated to Gold Medal as part of the trade-only sister brands’ merger in 2020.
In addition, Hughes sits on the membership committee at Abta and has been chairman of Tipto since 2019, having been involved with it since 2000 through his previous roles at Attraction World, Affordable Car Hire, JTA Travel Management, Haven and Butlin’s parent Bourne Leisure, and Holiday Autos.
He will continue in his role as chairman as the Truly Independent Professional Travel Organisation heads into its 24th year.
“I’m really happy to be joining the Princess Cruises team, especially at such an exciting time in the cruise sector,” Hughes said.
“Being so renowned for its quality, service and of course the reputation of its high-calibre team within the travel industry, I hope to support, continue and build on the great work Eithne and the Princess Cruises team have delivered to date.”
Williamson said: “We are delighted to announce Nick as our new sales director and we look forward to him bringing his wealth of travel knowledge and experience to our sales team.
“Nick’s relationships within the trade allow him to build upon the strong rapport our team already has with travel agents, taking Princess from strength to strength.”
Simon Applebaum, Gold Medal managing director, said: “Nick’s been a valued member of the Gold Medal and dnata Travel Group UK leadership team during his time with us, and we all wish him well with his future endeavours.
“Princess Cruises in an important partner for us, and we’re excited by the prospect of continuing to work with Nick in his new role to maximise opportunities for both brands.”
Williamson added: “We’d also like to thank Rachel Poultney for her hard work and dedication to Princess. Rachel has been a valued asset to the team, having held the position of sales director for more than six years, and her commitment has helped us achieve significant milestones throughout the years, such as our biggest-ever booking day back in June.
“She will be missed, and we wish her well in her new ventures.”