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Jason Liberty tells Royal Caribbean travel advisors he'll give regular updates

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'It's really clear there's strong demand for cruise. People are just looking for consistency,' Jason Liberty told travel advisors
New Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty endorsed the value of travel advisors and intends to update them regularly, as Richard Fain did.

Whether that'll be via videos is to be decided, Liberty said, quipping that he's working on a perm — in humorous reference to Fain's pandemic hairstyle.

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Richard Fain is revered by travel advisors, in part for his regular video updates duing the pandemic

This kind of banter characterized Liberty's appearance on SVP Sales Vicki Freed's 'Coffee Talk' Wednesday as she introduced Fain's successor to the trade.

Fain championed travel advisors, and the chat indicated Liberty does, too.

Freed related how, when she joined Royal Caribbean 14 years ago, she appealed to him about funding for automation, specifically the Espresso booking tool and CruisingPower.com.

Without sales, nothing else counts

As Freed told it, Liberty said without sales, nothing else counts. 

In this, his eighth day on the job, Liberty's immediate priorities are listening and learning by spending time with travel partners, employees and customers, along with the company's return to service, with about 80% of its fleet up and running.

Q2 'very much in line with expectations'

Addressing Omicron's impact, he indicated business in Q2 and beyond remains 'very much in line with expectations.

'It's really clear there's strong demand for cruise. People are just looking for consistency,' he said, mentioning the CDC's role and adding that travel partners' advocacy will help people to better understand how cruises are operating.

Operations experience

Liberty explained his former CFO duties had gone beyond finance, with additional responsibilities for supply chain, Silversea Cruises and the joint venture with TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. These involved operations that helped prepare him for the CEO job.

His favorite past role was heading strategy at a time when Royal Caribbean had huge growth plans and had to globalize its business. Being involved in commercial strategies and focusing on how to build quality demand in different parts of the world 'was a lot of fun.'

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