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THE AUSTRALIAN Cruise Association has appointed Ben Angell, vice president and managing director of Norwegian Cruise Line APAC, as chair of Cruise Lines International Association.

Prior to his role at Norwegian Cruise Line, Mr Angell served in leadership roles with Virgin Australia and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Outgoing CLIA chair Gavin Smith held the position for two years during what ACA described as “the most challenging period the industry has known”.

ACA chair Phil Holliday said Mr Smith’s work was particularly important in supporting the re-opening of Australia’s maritime borders.

“Gavin’s leadership and support for the industry and our association board and members during the pandemic has meant we could speak with a unified voice to government representing the issues of both cruise lines and onshore industry organisations.”

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Mr Holliday said the association looks forward to continuing the work the two associations have done together in the past.

“This is such an exciting time for our industry as we welcome back cruise to Australia,” Mr Holliday said.

“The opportunities to move forward and make a positive impact for our port communities and also the tourism industry as a whole are endless.”

ACA CEO Jill Abel acknowledged the efforts of CLIA CEO Joel Katz, who had worked to communicate the industry’s efforts around health and safety and providing confidence for passengers and crew.

“He is a valued partner of our association and has helped to guide us all through the troubled waters of the past two years,” Ms Abel said.

“It is exciting for our associations to now move forward with a more positive roadmap and have cruise ship visits back on the agenda to support jobs and economic growth in our gateway cities and regional communities.”

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