International Councillor Report to Skål UK National Executive Meeting /AGM
Airport Inn Gatwick, Thursday 25 February 2016
Further to my report following the World Congress in Torremolinos the International Council has seen some progress on a number of key International issues.
The attendance at the International Council was at the highest level for over 5 years and the new format for ISC meetings with an extra day at the mid- year meeting but a reduced timetable before the world congress has proved successful.
In addition the relevance of the council has been further enhanced by the Executive and the board of the council holding a joint meeting after the Congress for the first time.
1. Special Interest Tourism
Council made recommendations for changes to the by-laws for the inclusion of new membership categories for Medical (Wellness) Tourism and Sports Tourism.
These categories are now included in Article 1of Skal Clubs and membership and all clubs are encouraged to examine the new membership opportunities and identify potential new members.
2. Membership category changes
Other amendments to categories currently being worked on include – Travel Consultants who work from home but are growing in number and who historically may not have the suitable job titles for membership. Also for accommodation providers the number of units required may be reduced to 6 units from 12.
3. New B2B format and membership recruitment
I was asked to chair a task force on the proposal to upgrade the B2B element of the congress programme and to include an event to which local tourism professionals were invited. This event may involve a high profile speaker and/or business appointment scheduling to provide a strong business case for considering Skal membership. It is proposed to include this new approach in the congress in Monaco.
4. Future Skål World Congresses
A group of councillors considered possible changes to what is a core event in the Skal calendar. Issues discussed included – length of congress; Pricing; Too much emphasis on cost rather than quality; The lack of business discussions and seminars; A trade show and recruitment event; etc.
5. 2020 Project
Russell Butler had resigned as Chairman for personal reasons and past President Karine Coulanges had stepped in for some months until a new leader is appointed. Mark Langham from Northern Ireland and Jean-Moussa Lucas from London are participating in different groups in the project. Members have been asked for input to a series of questions generated by these groups to help advise.
6. Young Skål Symposium
The 4th Young Skål Symposium will take place 21-24th April2016 in Ankara. Details are on the website
7. World Congresses
As already confirmed the 2016 Skal World Congress is being held in Monaco October 29th – November 2nd. There has been a delay in clarifying some administration issues but the website should be out soon and reservations can commence.
The 2017 congress has been selected as Hyderabad in India and last week the Executive held a meeting there to confirm some programming details.
8. 2016 Mid-Year Meeting
The council voted for Christchurch for the ISC Mid-Year meeting in April 2016. This could be preceded by attending the New Zealand Annual Convention in Queenstown which takes place the weekend before.
9. Recruitment of new CEO
As ratified at the 2015 congress, recruitment of a new CEO for Skal International is under way. It had been hoped to have someone in place by the end of the first quarter of 2016 but having conducted an internal process, it is now necessary to advertise externally and it is hoped to have the post filled by end June 16. Yvonne Mansell has been confirmed as the Secretary General and will report to the new CEO when appointed.
Mark W. Alexander
International Councillor Skal United Kingdom
22 February 2016