Janet Parton, Carnival UK senior sales manager for trade business for P&O Cruises and Cunard, is to join MSC Cruises.

She has been appointed to the newly created role of head of sales for the UK and Ireland.

Parton will start in July and will be responsible for overseeing the cruise line’s sales, distribution and trade strategies in both markets.

She joins after seven years at Carnival UK where MSC Cruises’ UK Ireland and Australia executive director Giles Hawke previously worked.

Hawke said: “Janet is an excellent addition to our UK and Ireland leadership team and will be leading our sales organisation through a period of significant growth planned for the brand.”

Parton has more than 16 years’ experience in the travel industry with previous roles including field sales manager at Carnival UK and branch manager at Thomas Cook.

She said: “I am really excited about working with the MSC Cruises team and can’t wait to get started. The company has ambitious plans and a fantastic product that deserves to be known far and wide.

“My focus is increasing brand awareness by maximising our support to travel agents.”