New RCL Australia head
ROYAL Caribbean Cruises (RCL) has revealed that Gavin Smith will return to his former role of Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, replacing Susan Bonner who departs after holding the position since Jun 2018.
Smith first served in the role from Dec 2008 to Mar 2013, before moving on to become Senior Vice President of International for Royal Caribbean Cruises, where he was charged with driving growth across Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.
As local MD, Smith will be tasked with delivering further growth for Royal Caribbean Int’l (RCI), Celebrity and Azamara.
“No one is more passionate about the Australia and New Zealand markets than Gavin, and we are excited to welcome him back to his home market after a successful term leading our international team,” RCI CEO Michael Bayley said.
Smith’s return to Australia sees Bonner move back to Miami to lead a “new strategic project” for the Celebrity Cruises brand.
During her stint in Australia, Bonner was vocal about the capacity constraints facing the Aussie market, and the need to cater for larger ships, an issue she referred to as “the big ship challenge” (CW 13 Sep 2018).
“I want to thank Susan for her contributions to the Australian and New Zealand region and we look forward to welcoming her back to our Miami campus,” Bayley said.
Smith boasts more than 20 years of experience in the travel sector, including as Executive General Manager for Jetset Travelworld, Managing Director of P&O Cruises Australia, and President of Carnival Australia.
RCL said Smith’s appointment is effective immediately.