Cruise

Celebrity Cruises names new regional MD, as Susan Bonner departs

Tim Jones has been appointed managing director of Celebrity Cruises for Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

He succeeds Susan Bonner, who is leaving the company to return to her family in the United States and pursue other opportunities there.

Bonner joined Celebrity Cruises in 2008 as director of onboard revenue, where she was integral in launching and promoting Celebrity’s popular Solstice Series ships.

In 2018, Bonner moved to Australia to oversee the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara brands across Australia and New Zealand. She assumed her current role with Celebrity Cruises in January 2020.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said she was “incredibly grateful” to Bonner for her many contributions to Celebrity and the Royal Caribbean Group during her 12 years at the cruise giant.

“I extend my deepest thanks to her for her leadership, creativity and passion over the years, and for helping to ensure a smooth transition,” she said.

Commenting on her departure, Bonner said: “Working with so many amazing Australia and New Zealand travel partners, and the Celebrity family under Lisa’s leadership, has been a highlight of my career.

“My family is still in the States and it’s time to return home to them. I will cherish the friendship and support of so many, and know that great things are on the horizon for this region’s cruise industry and the broader travel community.”

Jones joins Celebrity from National Geographic Partners, where he most recently served as vice president of travel for the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, and managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Tim Jones

Prior to National Geographic, Jones spent 10 years with Tourism Australia serving in a number of senior positions, including general manager of Asia markets and global strategic partnerships, and interim executive general manager for the organisation’s international division.

Earlier in his career, Jones held product, marketing and sales positions with Qantas Holidays and Thomas Cook in the UK.

In his new role, Jones will be responsible for overseeing Celebrity’s business operations in the region, including marketing and selling the contemporary luxury cruise line.

Lutoff-Perlo said Jones brings “a wealth of leadership experience within the travel industry, and has a track record of creating value, growth and impact for iconic global travel and leisure brands”.

“He’s dynamic and strategic and I know he will be instrumental in continuing Celebrity’s momentum in the region,” she said.

Commenting on his new role, Jones said: “I’ve been watching Celebrity’s innovative and dynamic approach, and I couldn’t be more honoured to work closely with Lisa and the teams in Australia and Miami to write the next chapter of this amazing company in the Asia-Pacific region.

“I’m especially looking forward to working with our region’s travel partners in a new way and to supporting the rebuilding of our travel community over the coming months.”

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