Francis Riley Named Chief Commercial Officer at Bahamas Paradise

Francis Riley

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has 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, the company announced.

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 Oneil Khosa, CEO.  “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 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, according to a statement. 

After relocating to the United States in 2008 with Norwegian to run their international markets, he left to serve as vice president of cruise development for Tourico Holidays. Riley returned to Norwegian, 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 the company's executive leadership team as senior vice president of international sales, marketing and operations. 

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.

According to the company, 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 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.”

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