Seasoned Travel Industry Veteran Recognized for Strategic Leadership,Including Innovation Through Hurricane Dorian Crisis & COVID-19 Pandemic
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – April 289 2021 –Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, the only family-owned operator of two-night cruises to the Bahamas, today announced the promotion of Francis Riley to Chief Commercial Officer. In this newly created role, Riley will maintain his current responsibilities while placing an added focus on driving top-line revenues. This will include maximizing the brand’s existing sales channels, identifying new revenue opportunities, and forging new strategic partnerships to lay the groundwork for future domestic and international growth.
“Francis has been an outstanding addition to our senior leadership team and during the difficult times that have faced the cruise and travel industries over the past two years, he has become someone I appreciate and consistently lean on for support, partnership and guidance,” said Khosa. “Francis is a critical thinker who understands every aspect of this business, and he has the leadership style and relationships we need to take this company into the future. We are embarking upon a very aggressive, ambitious growth strategy coming out of the pandemic and I have every bit of confidence in Francis and his team to help get us to where we want to be.”
A native of the United Kingdom, Riley began his career with U.K.-based travel agency Thomas Cook working as a travel consultant and in various other roles across the company. He later joined British Airways’ Air Miles Travel Company, prior to joining Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) as managing director of their UK office. In that position, he spearheaded regional operations while functioning in a multifaceted role, which included directing sales, managing marketing revenue, and overseeing passenger services, product development, IT, finance and human resources.
After relocating to the United States in 2008 with NCL to run their international markets, he left to serve as vice president of cruise development for Tourico Holidays. Riley returned to NCL, where he spent seven years climbing the executive ranks. From 2010 to 2014, Riley worked as vice president of international and managing director, EMEA and from 2014 to 2017, he served as a member of NCL’s executive leadership team as senior vice president of international sales, marketing and operations. During that time, Riley impressively spearheaded the EMEA division’s sales and marketing efforts across four locations, surpassing net ticket revenue goals annually for five consecutive years, increased European revenues, converted Israel and South Africa distribution models (which led to a 300% sales increase in the region), oversaw the company’s website globalization initiative (increasing web bookings by 100%) and founded several new call centers and sales offices in local markets across Asia and Latin America.
In 2018, Riley joined Traveltek, a global travel technology provider, as senior vice president of sales for The Americas, where he oversaw the recruitment of a new sales team, administered individualized training and mentorship across the company, formulated a new global sales process, directed a North American marketing and public relations plan and exceeded sales targets by deploying creative and innovative sales programs.
Riley joined Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in 2019 as senior vice president of sales, with a focus on developing the brand’s trade distribution strategy. In less than three months, he was promoted to senior vice president of sales and marketing, absorbing all marketing, revenue management and contact center responsibilities. Riley played a critical role in the cruise line’s efforts surrounding Hurricane Dorian and the resulting humanitarian crisis on Grand Bahama Island, providing key counsel from the company’s Palm Beach, Florida home office as well as onboard and on-island during several rapidly deployed relief cruises. In addition, Riley has helped steer the company through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
During his time with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, Riley has successfully integrated a variety of initiatives that have led to increased brand loyalty amongst both travel advisor partners and customers. This included the launch of the brand’s renowned, award-winning Cruise & Stay program, implementing its Paradise Rewards Loyalty program, developing the cruise line’s Employer Partner and ‘Accelerate Groups’ programs, and creating dynamic new onboard offerings to enhance the cruise experience. Today, Riley is focused on working alongside the brand’s ownership team and Khosa, leading its post-pandemic relaunch strategy, managing the cruise line’s relationships with agency partners including Hemsworth Communications, and serving as a trusted confidant and partner to the company’s roster of global trade partners.
“I am grateful for, and humbled by, the faith that Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s ownership team have put in me. They are a terrific family to work for and have an outstanding vision for a very exciting future,” said Riley. “We have a lot of work ahead of us and I know with the support of our trade partners, vendors and the wonderful employees we have on our team that we will be back stronger and better than ever before.”
ABOUT BAHAMAS PARADISE CRUISE LINE
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, the ultimate Bahamas getaway, is the only provider of two-night cruises to Grand Bahama Island, and the originator of the unique Cruise & Stay program, letting travelers extend their Bahamas adventure with a distinctive resort stay. Named Best Short Cruise by Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 2020 Editor-in-Chief Awards, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line sets sail from West Palm Beach and operates one ship, Grand Classica – which earned Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Award for Best Entertainment. The company is majority-owned by the family of former Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Kevin Sheehan.