CLIA Europe names transport policy expert as new director general

Marie-Caroline Laurent will help to build CLIA’s engagement on European policy issues
CLIA Europe names transport policy expert as new director general


Marie-Caroline Laurent will draw on her years of experience in European transport policy in her new role for CLIA

By Rebecca Gibson |

European transport policy expert Marie-Caroline Laurent has been appointed as director general for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe.

Laurent has previously held leadership roles at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), worked in policy development for the Association of European Airlines, and served as both a parliamentary adviser at the European Parliament and a senior policy officer at the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (EU). She will begin her new role at CLIA on 15 November 2021.

“I’m passionate about the positive impact of transport and tourism sectors supporting businesses and livelihoods in every European country,” said Laurent. “Transport is one of the world’s most innovative industries and cruise ship building is at the heart of the European economy. Cruise lines are at the forefront of green maritime innovation and are well positioned to help the EU to drive green growth. I’m looking forward to working together with cruise lines, our industry partners and policy makers to help drive Europe’s leadership in building a truly sustainable transport and tourism industry in Europe.”

Laurent replaces current director general Ukko Metsola, who was appointed in September 2020 and serve in an advisory role until the end of 2021 to assist with the transition. Metsola will then return to Royal Caribbean Group.

“I want to thank Ukko Metsola for his leadership in Europe during a critical transitional period as cruise operations have continued a phased return to service,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA. “I’m delighted to welcome Marie-Caroline Laurent who will draw on a wealth of experience within the European transport policy arena to showcase cruise at the heart of sustainable tourism and demonstrate its value to the wider maritime sector. With extensive experience interfacing with EU institutions, Marie-Caroline will be well positioned to continue to build CLIA’s engagement on European policy issues within Brussels.”

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