Azamara Club Cruises first managing director Richard Twynam has been voted on to the Clia UK and Ireland executive committee.

Cruise lines were asked to vote between Twynam and Tauck’s Ray Steward at the association’s annual general meeting, held in London on Friday.

Twynam replaces Regent Seven Sea Cruises’ Graham Sadler who resigned from the committee at the end of last year.

When putting forward a case to the cruise line representatives, Twynam said he believed he would bring a number of qualities to the committee, including past knowledge of working for tour operators.

He said it was also important for the industry to start focusing on digital marketing and digital strategy, something he would be keen to drive for the executive committee.

Twynam said: “I have been in the industry for 20 years holding senior roles at airlines and tour operators and I bring to the executive committee is a really strong level of knowledge of what its actually like at the coal face – to run a tour operator and a member of the cruise distribution.

“Up until last year I was the managing director of Virgin Cruise, so I can bring the voice of the distribution to Clia. I also established Kuoni’s cruise programme for them last year which was focused on the new to cruise customer. I can bring insight into what it is like for an operator to try and achieve that.

“Digital marketing has got such an important role to play for all of us and I feel that at this moment there isn’t a great level of discussion in the industry about it.

“Therefore I would like to be the person who works for the committee to drive our digital strategy. If you think about the fact that Tui have just headhunted Google’s head of travel as their digital marketing director – I think that says a lot about the importance of digital marketing in the industry moving forward.”