Skål UK Newsletter January 2017

Skål UK Newsletter January 2017

Welcome Skålleagues

...friends and colleagues to the new year edition of your Skål International United Kingdom News. We start by looking back with a review of WTM – World Travel Market - our last major event for 2016, together with details of all the upcoming club AGMs including next month’s UK National AGM scheduled for Thursday 23 February at the Old House Inn near Gatwick Airport, during which you will have your opportunity to express a view on Skål UK’s future direction and vital membership development.

Elsewhere, we bring you an update on Skål’s new leadership executive team lead by President David Fisher and your exclusive membership benefits including an extension to the discount period for purchase of 2017-18 200 Club Shares. So don’t be shy and buy, buy, buy as many shares as you dare! As they say, “you’ve got to be in it to win it”!

Lastly, but by no means least, we feature an excellent article by London club member Sneshka Richter who writes about the 2017 Year of Sustainable Development declared by UNWTO – the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the role of Skål members’ and the ways in which we can all be involved by implementing sustainable best practices and action “…in our daily business and life…”.

Paul Hoskins, 1st Vice President

Yes, It's AGM Time Again!

Lots of AGMs coming up soon – see below, in date order – and also the events listing at the end of this newsletter.

The Skål UK Southampton AGM takes place on Sunday the 5th of February at Southwick Park Golf Club, Pinsley Drive, Southwick, Portsmouth PO17 6EL, starting at 11.30 am, including coffee and cakes and pre-lunch drinks. Lunch is a two-course carvery starting at 12.45pm and costing £12.50 per person.

The Skål UK London AGM will be held on the new date of Thursday 16th February, venue to be advised. To confirm attendance please email Paul Follows at

The Skål UK International AGM will take place on Thursday 23rd February 2017 at The Old House Inn, Effingham Road, Burstow, Near Copthorne, West Sussex RH10 3JB (about a ten minute drive from Gatwick Airport), starting 2.30pm.

Robert (Bob) Duffett (1929 to 2016)

Sadly, Skål London Past President, Past Skål Benevolent Fund Senior Trustee, Retired and Honorary Life Skål Member, and Skål member since 1965, Robert ‘Bob’ Ernest Duffett passed away on the 11th December 2016, aged 87 years.

Born in Croydon in 1929, Bob left school at 15 and started his life-long interest in tourism as luggage loader at Croydon Airport. He then took a job with West African Airways and was posted to Sierra Leone where he met his future wife, Joy, whom he married in Nigeria in 1954 before returning to the UK in 1959. He then resumed his career in the airline industry via the sales department at Eagle Airways in Gatwick Airport.

Bob then worked for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in London before being appointed as European Sales Director for Norwegian Caribbean Lines, selling cruise holidays. He then used his airline industry expertise to design PSARA - the Passenger Shipping Association Retail Agents scheme - which provided a much needed unified platform that enabled cruise lines to sell via high street travel agencies.

Bob joined the Skål Club of London in 1965 and was appointed President in 1984. He was also a founding Trustee of The Skål Club of London Benevolent Fund and helped many grateful colleagues and their families in their hours of need. On retirement Bob became an Honorary Life Member of Skål.

Bob will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him. Skål and the international travel industry have sadly lost a good and loyal friend, a gentleman and a pioneer.

Read the Travel Weekly eulogy to Bob.

Bahrain to Host the Skål International Asian Area Congress in May

The 2017 Skål International Asian Area Congress will be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain, from the 12th to 15th May. The Congress Hotel is the luxurious 5 star Gulf Hotel. The 4 star K Hotel and Ramada Hotel will also provide transfers to the Gulf Hotel. Special congress rates apply.

Registration forms and the congress programme, can be downloaded via the following links - registration form and programme.

Your Representatives:
The 2017 Skål International Executive Committee

Here’s your 2017 Skål International Executive Committee:

  • President: David J. Fisher (Kenya)
  • Senior Vice President: Membership Development & Young Skål: Susanna Saari (Finland)
  • Junior Vice President: Finance & Florimond Volckaert Fund: Rafael Millan (Mexico)


  • PR & Communications: Lavonne Wittmann (South Africa)
  • Statutes and Manuals: Jason Samuel (India)
  • Business Development & Trade Fairs: Maria Teresa Diaz Comas (Spain)
  • President of the International Skål Council: William Rheaume (Canada)
  • Chief Executive Officer: Daniela Otero

United Nations Declares 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

The United Nations General Assembly has approved 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development which will focus on...

the importance of international tourism… in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world

Sneshka Richter:
A Summary of UNWTO's Plans for 2017

Skål UK member, Sneshka Richter of Green Heart Consulting is a leading authority on sustainable tourism and she has written a summary of UNWTO’s plans for ‘2017 – The Year of Sustainable Development Opportunities’.

The UN sees this as an "unique opportunity to advance the contribution of the tourism sector to the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental - while raising awareness of the true dimensions of a sector which is often undervalued”.

These words go to the very heart of our profession and Sneshka’s inspirational article can be read via this link.

VisitBritain’s Bullish For 2017

VisitBritain’s forecast for 2017 predicts a very strong year for inbound tourism into Britain this year with the number of overseas visitors to the UK expected to rise to 38.1 million and spend by overseas visitors to reach £24.1 billion.

That’s a predicted year on year increase of 4% in visitor numbers (from 36.7m to 38.1m) and an 8.1% increase in visitor spend (from £22.3bn to £24.1bn).

This is serious money. £24bn would pay for the construction of the Hinkley Point Nuclear Energy Plant, reportedly ‘the most costly object on earth’ or, apparently, buy up all the cannabis, heroin, and cocaine in Europe (says Google).

Skål International at World Travel Market 2016 Sets New Highs

Paul Hoskins, Skål London Board Member and 1st Vice President Skål International United Kingdom, who oversaw and coordinated Skål’s presence at WTM 2016, said, “Our Stand at last year’s World Travel Market was a very popular meeting place and we welcomed visitors from all over the world, including Bahrain, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Tanzania and of course, the UK”.

The Inaugural Executive Dinner held on the Monday 7th November at London's historic Naval & Military Club (known colloquially as the ‘In and Out’ Club because of the signs to the left and right of the main entrance when it was based in Piccadilly), featured an interesting talk from Olivia Ruggles-Brise of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on the origins and relevance of WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards programme. Olivier’s talk was followed by a lively question and answer mini-forum.

The traditional annual Skål-WTM ‘Get Together’ party on Tuesday 8th November attracted some 45 to 50 Skålleagues, guests and new member prospects. A convivial and lively time was had by all with welcome speeches given by London President, Brian Donnelly, and Skål International Senior Vice-President, Susanna Saari.

The Young Professionals’ and Future Leaders’ event organised by Jean Moussa-Lucas held on Wednesday 9th November was another great success, see photo above, with a brilliantly orchestrated debate featuring Naomi Hall (Global Director of Sales Hyatt International UK) and Matteo Marin (Co-Founder of Trip tich) that was expertly moderated by Alistair Turner (President of ILEA).

Skål London Young Professional member Jean-Mousssa Lucas, Managing Director of JL Events Management & Staffing, who acted as Skål London’s WTM event manager, concludes, “WTM was a great success and, without doubt, increased awareness of the Skål International brand both in the UK and internationally”.

Brian Donnelly, Skål International London President thanked the entire Skål Team for the tremendous work done throughout WTM16, saying that a new benchmark had been reached for future Skål organisations attending similar high-profile international travel exhibitions.

Skål UK 200 Club 2017-18 – BUY NOW!

200 Club Organiser, Derek Ketteridge, announces that the current time-limited discount for the purchase of Skål 200 Club Shares @ £10.00 per share has been extended and will now expire on the 15th February 2017. After this date the usual price of £12.00 per share will apply.

To take advantage of this special offer, please go online, where you can download the Skål 200 Club application form and then send Derek your money!

Alternatively you can purchase direct without the form filling by sending payment via bank transfer direct to Skål UK’s Barclays Bank account:

  • Account Name: NCSCUK:
  • Sort Code 20-76-89
  • Account Number: 00304948

Or, simply send a cheque (made out to: Skål UK 200 Club) to Derek Ketteridge, Tour Indemnity, 2nd Floor, 88A High Street, Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex BN43 5DB. (Phone 01273 463 300.)

NOTE: The 200 Club helps the National Funds and 50% of all money collected is returned to the membership in the form of a monthly draw so the more shares bought the bigger the monthly prize money!

Skål Online Magazine

In case you missed it, the latest digital version of the Skål magazine is now available online.

Your Newsletter - Your News!

Want to announce that you have won a new contract, are offering a new service? Want to promote a good cause, are looking for help?

Then use this Skål members’ newsletter to reach out to colleagues and the UK travel industry. Just send us your material and we’ll try to squeeze it in! Good quality photos are always useful, too.

Dates For Your Diary!

February 5th
Skål Southampton
AGM and lunch

February 16th, 12 noon
Skål London
Change of date from 26th January, venue to be announced.
For further information contact Paul Follows -

February 23rd
Skål International UK
National AGM 2017

February 26th
Skål Brighton, Sussex and the Channel
Presidential handover lunch

March 25th
Skål Brighton, Sussex and the Channel
Walking tour of Rye plus lunch

April 28th
Skål Brighton, Sussex and the Channel
International Day dinner

May 20th
Skål Brighton, Sussex and the Channel
Visit to Cote d’Opale

June 15th
Skål Brighton, Sussex and the Channel
Fish & chips lunch and visit to Spa Valley Railway

Don’t forget to check the Skål UK website for all the latest Skål events that are taking place across the UK – there’s more going on than you might think! See

Member Offers and Discounts

National executive members, Derek Ketteridge, and VP, Paul Hoskins, are currently working on an exciting NEW offer for members with the law firm Mayo Wynn Baxter who will be providing an introductory ‘free’ initial consultation to their extensive range of travel and tourism-related, personal and family legal services which they will provide to Skålleagues at discounted rates. So, as we say ‘watch this space’ for more dynamic news on this development in the next edition of the Skål UK News.

Meanwhile, we’d like to remind you of the many other valuable member benefits and discounted opportunities through our business partners:

  • Tour Indemnity’s Skål member travel insurance programme which includes travel cover for members, their families and friends up to the age of 75. For details please go to the Skål UK website and look in the ‘offers’ section. To enter and access this offer please use the password: amicale.
  • Holiday Extras - up to 15% off airport parking, 12% off airport hotels, 10% off UK airport lounges, 5% off international airport lounges
  • A2B - 20% off transfers with the exclusive discount code: agent20
  • Book FHR - up to 15% off car parking, most hotels and 10% off airport lounges (discount automatically applied)
  • Affordable Car Hire - 10% off Affordable Car Hire (discount automatically applied)

Further offers are currently under negotiation and will be announced in the next edition of your newsletter.

Please note that each of our above partners specify their terms and conditions appropriate to each of the company’s offerings. So, please check the conditions on making your arrangements.

Where in the World?

Have a go at identifying the latest view in our 'where in the world?' competition. There are no prizes ‐ just the chance to be included in our Hall of Fame. Email your answer to

And Finally...
Introduce a Friend or Colleague

The National Executive, Club Presidents and Board members wish to urge everyone to do their utmost throughout the year ahead to introduce at least one, if not two or more, colleagues and/or friends into membership of Skål International, the world’s only truly global travel, tourism, hospitality and related businesses association of friends.

In conclusion, your editorial team wish all members and friends a peaceful, prosperous, healthy and happy 2017, much enjoyment and involvement in Skål International UK and your local club meetings and events.

PLEASE NOTE that the views and content expressed in this newsletter are written or edited in good faith by the editorial team without any commercial or political interest or gain. Any and all errors or omissions are regretted.

Editor: Philip Cooke, The Destination Marketing Group,

Editorial Advisor: Paul A. Hoskins, 1st Vice President, Skål International UK, FULCRUM Marketing+PR, 3rd Floor, 207 Regent Street, London W1B 3HH - or T +44 (0)20 7183

Design and Production: Lesley Pritchard, Frontline Communication,