Austin will lead Seabourn’s marketing, brand management, sales and public relations.
Luxury cruise line Seabourn has named veteran hospitality executive Chris Austin as senior vice president, global sales and marketing. Austin has served for 30 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts or its predecessor companies, focusing largely on the travel agent community. Marriott closed on its purchase of Starwood in September and has been reorganizing its luxury hotel brands.
In his new role Austin, who is well known in the travel agent community, will be responsible for Seabourn's overall marketing efforts, brand management, sales and public relations. He will start in January and will relocate from Miami to Seabourn’s Seattle offices. In January, Seabourn will christen its new 600-passenger Seabourn Encore in Singapore.
"Chris is a perfect fit to lead our global sales and marketing efforts during a period where we are expanding our fleet and overall capacity," said Seabourn Rick Meadows, president of Seabourn. "He is passionate about people, which is vital from a guest and trade relations standpoint. Moreover, his significant experience in the luxury travel category will help us further expand our leadership position in the ultra-luxury travel segment.”
Prior to joining Seabourn, Austin served for eight years as vice president-global leisure, luxury and TMC sales for Starwood, where he launched the innovative Starwood Pro, a booking and training program for travel agents. He also was vice president-global customer partnerships at Starwood from 2005 to 2009, vice president of North American leisure sales from 1998 to 2005, and director-leisure sales North America Division for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts.