Carnival Corporation’s chief operations officer Alan Buckelew (pictured) is relocating to China as the company looks to grow business in the market.

Chief executive Arnold Donald said that as the market leader in China it was important to continue building relations to show the company’s commitment to the market.

In his expanded role, Buckelew, who was previously chief executive of Princes Cruises, will lead all the company’s initiatives in China.

Donald said: “As the world’s largest cruise company with a portfolio of nine industry-leading global cruise lines, we are the clear market leader in China and very well positioned to continue working with officials in China to help the country meet its goal of becoming one of the most important cruise markets in the world.

“Today’s announcement underscores our deep commitment to China as a market of great strategic importance for our company. Alan is one of the most respected leaders in the industry and having him on the ground in China will add great strength to our operation and growth opportunities in China.”

Buckelew said: “We are excited about our cruise ships currently serving the Chinese market and the vast potential to grow our business in China in the months and years to come. Our team in China is dedicated and passionate about delivering a unique experience designed to exceed the expectations of every guest who boards one of our ships.

“As we execute our strategy to accelerate growth in China, we have the benefit of eight years of experience in China to not only help guide our expansion, but also find unique ways to delight our guests with the joy of cruising.”

Carnival Corporation will have four ships based in China.

Costa Cruises’ Costa Serena will deploy year-round in China next year joining Costa Victoria and Costa Atlantica which are both already deployed there. Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess began homeporting in Shanghai in the summer.