Wednesday, June 7, 2023
The first face-to-face Skål Asia Congress from June (1-4) since the pandemic, opened to a fanfare welcome to Asia Skålleagues from more than a dozen countries that made up this dynamic Skål International region.
Once again highlighting the association’s strong bonds of friendship and camaraderie in the association’s long 91 year old history. The Asia Area represents almost 18% of all global members worldwide.
Attend by Skål World President Juan Steta, Vice President Denise Scrafton and Director NSN Mohan along with Past World President Peter Morrison and National Presidents and their representatives from five NatComs in the region.
The largest of which was Australia with a strong turnout from their 855 members led by President Ivana Patalano.
The Bali Club under the leadership of President Stefan Mueller and IPP Stuart Bolwell put on a well managed and highly organised opening ceremony today on the first day of the Congress on the Island of the Gods.
The venue was the magnificent Merusaka Hotel Nusa Dua, led by expert Scottish GM Ian Mc.D Campbell.
Skål Asia President elect Keethi Jayaweera
In his opening address Skål Asia President-elect Keethi Jayaweera said, on behalf of the Asian Area, it is his great honour to welcome everyone to the opening ceremony of the 52nd Skål Asia Congress.
It is nearly nine years ago, when they last met in Bali for the 43rd Asian Area Congress.
He also said that they are reminded of the importance of the tourism industry in shaping our world.
Tourism is not just about leisure and travel, but it is also about creating opportunities for economic growth, cultural exchange and environmental sustainability.
In the past few years they have been facing unprecedented challenges in the tourism industry including climate change, over tourism and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully tourism is once again showing signs of recovering to its pre-covid levels.
As members of Skål International, they have a responsibility to lead the way in its recovery, keeping in mind their obligation of promoting sustainable tourism practices.
They must work together to ensure that tourism benefits not only the industry but also the local communities and the environment.
They have today a distinguished line-up of speakers who will share their thoughts, insights and experiences on sustainable tourism, technology and food security.
But this Congress is not just about learning and sharing. It is also about networking and building relationships.
They have delegates from all over Asia and Oceania, representing different sectors of the tourism industry. They call everyone to take this opportunity to connect with each other, keeping to the Skål motto of “Doing Business among Friends”, to exchange ideas and to collaborate on projects that will make a positive impact on their world.
He expressed gratitude to the speakers of that day- the host club, Skål International Bali and President Stefan Mueller, the Congress Director Stuart Bolwell and the organising Committee, Ian Cameron the General Manager of the Merusaka Nusa Dua and his team who were very accommodating with all their requests, the sponsors and partners who have made this Congress possible.
Finally he also thanked fellow Skålleagues from Asia and Oceania for their participation and contribution to this important event.
Mr Keethi Jayaweera closed summoning everyone to make the most of this congress and let them work together to make tourism a catalyst for sustainable development.