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Gavin Smith, Royal Caribbean International’s managing director Australia and New Zealand, has been appointed the new chair of Cruise Lines International Association Australasia.

Mr Smith takes on the role as cruise lines grapple with the crippling effects of coronavirus and prepare for a return to sailing.

Mr Smith’s huge experience will certainly be needed in the coming months, as the organisation presents new health protocols and negotiates with states and ports to ensure their itineraries.

Mr Smith served as CLIA Australasia chair from 2011-15. He was also on the board of CLIA Europe from 2016-19.

He takes over from outgoing CLIA chair Sture Myrmell, president of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, after a two-year term which included overseeing the extraordinary repatriation of passengers and laying up of ships.

Mr Smith leads a new CLIA board which includes Princess Cruises’ Stuart Allison, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Ben Angell, Ponant’s Sarina Bratton, MSC Cruises’ Lynne Clarke, Regent Seven Seas & Oceania Cruises’ Steve Odell, Windstar Cruises’ Andrew Millmore and Mr Myrmell.

“Mr Smith will provide invaluable guidance for our organisation as we work to confront the unprecedented challenges ahead of us and rebuild confidence through the new health measures cruise lines are developing” said Joel Katz, managing director, CLIA Australasia.

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