Gavin Smith was appointed managing director for the Australian operations of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited (RCL) in December 2008, and in March 2010 he opened the company's first office in New Zealand.
Smith leads a team of around 55 employees and oversees all commercial and operational activities in Australia and New Zealand for the company's three cruise brands: Royal Caribbean Intemational, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises.
Since joining RCL, the Australian operation has seen substantial growth in demand for cruising from passengers across Australia and New Zealand. In the second half of 2011 the cruise company will triple the number of ships sailing in Australasian waters for the Southern Hemisphere summer with Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Century joining Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas to be homeported in Sydney. Then 2012 will see the arrival of Celebrity Solstice, the newest, largest and most luxurious cruise ship to call Australia home.
In this time the cruise brands have also expanded their itineraries to include a broader range of destinations around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, as well as providing a greater choice of cruise durations from two days to longer circumnavigations of Australia and New Zealand.
In December 2010, Smith was appointed Chairman of the International Cruise Council of Australia, the not-for-profit organisation aimed at training travel consultants and raising consumer awareness of cruising.
Smith has over 20 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Prior to joinin'g Royal Caribbean Cruises, he served as general manager for one of Australia's leading retail travel groups, Jetset Travelworld. Previously, he served as managing director for P&O Cruises Australia and president for Carnival Australia, where he managed the organization through a period of significant growth, He has held various senior sales, marketing and communications positions in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Smith received a Bachelor of Business Studies, with a major in marketing, from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.