Skål UK Newsletter - November 2017

Skål UK Newsletter - November 2017

Skål UK Newsletter – November 2017

In this issue...

  • Editor's notes
  • President’s report to the 64th National Assembly
  • Skål at World Travel Market 2017
  • Skål UK International 64th National Assembly, Eastbourne
  • Hong Kong – world’s busiest tourist city
  • Mark Alexander, Director of Skål International, writes...
  • Talking luggage tags for tourists visiting Amsterdam
  • Looking for a Skål event near you?
  • Competition - where in the world is this?

Editor's Notes

November is a special month for the UK’s tourism industry -  the world’s largest and best travel trade show is coming to town!

So, let’s all be sure to wear our Skål pin badges and, if you see one on a stranger’s collar, be sure to say ‘hello’ and welcome them to London. You never know, they might be a buyer that’s looking for someone just like you!

The same goes for the Skål Stand (EU 1565) and the Skål Welcome Get Together Party on Tuesday 7 November from 17.00hrs – be sure to drop by, armed with a pocket full of business cards. WTM is also very much an inter-generational occasion and an opportunity for us ‘seniors’ to learn about contemporary tourism issues from members of the Young Skål International club. Suddenly, it’s a whole new world out there. Think Brexit. Think Trump. Think Macron.

Think, ‘what’s next for Skål’ especially as it has a unique professional mission to unite, through friendship, all branches of the global travel and tourism industry.

So, let’s all go make some new friends while they are here and looking for ‘people like us’.

Philip Cooke
Editor, Skål UK News

Paul Hoskins, Skål International UK President, Report Summary to the 64th National Assembly

Since my election on the 23 February when we last met for the AGM, I have maintained regular contacts with the Officers and members of the National Executive. Although due to corporate responsibilities some Skålleagues are more elusive than others and challenging to keep in contact.

Acting Treasurer, David Goddard’s recent Financial Report and Membership Statistics Paper demonstrates that whilst our current financial position is reasonably sound, the continuing decline in membership numbers means that we face an uncertain future with a reducing income and consequent cutbacks recommended for the 2018 Budget.

However, we are developing a Membership Development Programme and working with Skål International HQ on the creation of a global membership development fund (although this itself isdependent on donations and international voluntary funding).

In the immediate future we shall proceed with the plan to regenerate Skål Scotland, and a promotional event planned for Glasgow in the near future. Our 200 Club is also a valuable source of funds for the running of Skål UK.

Member offers continue to be advertised and available via our website, many of which have been arranged by Derek Ketteridge. The latest being the offer of legal assistance from leading lawyers, Mayo Wynne Baxter.

We are also working on improving the knowledge of members about our connection with TIS (Travel Industry Services) which provides attractive discounts on worldwide travel, tours, cruises and hotel accommodation.

Second Vice-President Mark Langham is now managing our website and our Web Manager Ian Hawkins carries out all the necessary updates such as the 200 Club winners and uploading of Club and National News.

The National Executive in session: L-R: Christine Ayers (Skål Brighton President, Observer), David Fisher (International President) and Paul Hoskins (National President UK).

PHOTO: The National Executive in session: L-R: Christine Ayers (Skål Brighton President, Observer), David Fisher (International President) and Paul Hoskins (National President UK).

Meanwhile, the future viability of Skål International UK is in the balance and we should make no mistake in that, unless membership numbers improve significantly, we will not be able to maintain the National Executive operation. It is also apparent that there is a need for new blood prepared to take on responsible roles and jobs in a continuing national existence.

As a result, I urge, implore even, everyone to do all they can to ‘lend a helping hand’ when it comes to next year’s AGM by standing either for office and/or the National Executive where your committed working contributions will be greatly appreciated.

The viability of our National Assembly is also something we need to give serious consideration to in order to determine if September really is still the best time to hold the gathering and to cut down on the time and costs involved. To this end a recommendation has been advanced by Skål London’s President Brian Donnelly whereby the NE and Assembly are held in future over just two days - a Saturday and Sunday. This would straightaway reduce the cost of accommodation and event activity charges.

View a copy of President Paul’s full Report here.

Skål members enjoying the sunshine at Beachy Head. L-R: Norman McBride (N.Ireland), Paul Hoskins (National President UK),Lyn Snelgrove (National Secretary), Caroline Adams (N.Ireland), Mark Alexander (Northern Ireland and International Director) and Julie Oliphant (Brighton).

PHOTO: Skål members enjoying the sunshine at Beachy Head. L-R: Norman McBride (N.Ireland), Paul Hoskins (National President UK),Lyn Snelgrove (National Secretary), Caroline Adams (N.Ireland), Mark Alexander (Northern Ireland and International Director) and Julie Oliphant (Brighton).

Skål at World Travel Market 2017

Skål UK International, in partnership with Reed Travel Exhibitions, welcomes Skålleagues from across the globe to London’s World Travel Market.

Members will once again be able to apply for the exclusive three day Visitor Exhibition Pass and Badge via the Skål WTM exhibitor website. (Click on 'World Travel Market London 2017: Exclusive Skål Members' 3-day Registration'.)

We still have one remaining slot for the rental of a B2B desks at our Stand, EU 1565 for hire on a daily basis, providing a great opportunity for formal meetings with clients and for new business prospecting.

It’s party time (but please book your place!) Don’t forget to come along to the traditional Skål WTM Get Together which, this year, will take place on Stand EU 1565 on Tuesday 7 November, from 17.00 to 19:00.

This event is a great opportunity to meet the new CEO of Skål International, Daniela Otero, and members and guests are asked to make sure that they reserve a ticket for this event.

Also, if you are interested in sponsoring or supporting Skål events at this year’s World Travel Market please email Paul Hoskins or call him on +44 (0)20 7183 7788 or +44 (0)7974 187 571.

The Skål UK International 64th National Assembly, Eastbourne, 22-24 September

Christine Ayers, President Skål International – Brighton, Sussex and the Channel, writes…

Those who missed the National Assembly in Eastbourne over the 22-24 September weekend missed a ‘grand do’ with bucket-loads of good cheer and sunshine every day.

Proceedings started on Thursday evening, with an excellent Italian meal at Pomodoro e Mozzarella, where the wine and chat flowed. On return to the hotel the bar was shocked into true Skål mode and stayed open awhile...

Friday’s meeting included some interesting comments on membership development. What it comes down to is that unless we get more members, Skål, certainly in the UK, will decline into a minor lunch club.

It was great seeing all the faces alight whilst catching up with news. The raffle raised £350 which will be split between my chosen charity, St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Paul Hoskins' 'Just a Drop' which provides clean water supplies to undeveloped countries.

Saturday saw us on a jaunt to Brighton. Unfortunately, the brand spanking new double-deck coach 'died' on us but, being intrepid travel people, we made the best of it without (too much) complaint.

We ran late but got just about everything in, although some people missed the Lanes. Super fresh, crisp, fish and chips in the sunshine on the pier was followed by a visit to the Royal Pavilion – a stunning building which never ceases to amaze.

The trip back to the Lansdowne Hotel was via the coast road and rolling Sussex Downs countryside, re-entering Eastbourne via Upper Dukes Drive, our local version of the Amalfi coast road – interesting in a double deck bus.

Neville had set a quiz (to be answered during the day) and Margaret Cahill, Irish National President was the winner by just one point, which wasn’t bad as the questions had a definite Brighton and Sussex slant!

Dinner in the evening was all posh frocks, DJs and gongs. Good food, not much in the way of lengthy speeches, and dancing, made an excellent mixture – and we won the Tantalus as 'Club Of the Year'!

Sunday morning was quiet and we had a 'virtual' flag-lowering ceremony with access to the flagpole via a bedroom whilst the inhabitants were still abed!

All the goodbyes were said in the sunshine outside. The International President, David Fisher, had already left at some unearthly hour to get to Heathrow. What a nice man he is!  Very genial, good sense of humour and happy to mix in with everything.

Lots of people deserve thanks for making it a very enjoyable Assembly, with plenty of hard work from a number of our Members but I'm only going to name one - (husband) Philip. He worked his socks off to make everything come together and I couldn't have done it without him.

So, to all who helped, and very much so to those who attended, a very big thank you.

Christine Ayers

View the full version of President Christine’s review.

Hong Kong – the World’s Busiest Tourist City for Second Year Running!

Euromonitor has identified that (based on 2015 data) Hong Kong was the world’s busiest tourist destination for both 2015 and 2016 receiving, on average, well over 2 million international arrivals per month.

London isn’t far behind in third place with c. 1.5m visitors pm and it is now the only non-Asian city in the top four busiest global destinations.


Mark Alexander, Skål N. Ireland Club and Newly-elected Director of Skål International, writes...

Be careful what you wish for… too late!

Having been successful in the elections in Hyderabad I now have to put up or shut up. As a new Director on the Executive Committee I am very aware of the enormous responsibility I now have along with my fellow EC colleagues to work tirelessly for the benefit of our wonderful global organisation.

At our first EC meeting following the World Congress in Hyderabad I was delighted that we unanimously supported the priority of Membership Engagement across all Directors’ portfolios.

Our membership is the reason we exist and recruiting and retaining members is core to all we do.

The introduction of the newly enhanced Membership Development Fund, the development of real member benefits, the production of the necessary Tool Kit which will help clubs retain and recruit and making sure members remain active in Skål will all go towards a more successful Skål.

In addition to our Membership Engagement roles I have been appointed as Statutes Director. It is generally agreed that we need to radically review how these work in line with the legal requirement in Spain for our Statutes or Constitution to be approved by the Spanish Government.

We need to reduce the statutes to reflect the core principles of our organisation which will rarely if ever need amending. The areas then which are regularly reviewed in our ever changing world can be accommodated in our by-laws which we can manage independently from the Spanish Government.

This will also help remove some of the frustrating regulations which many of you feel are working against the good of Skål and our members. It should also mean that we spend less time debating rules and regulations at the expense of doing what we all agree we need and that is ‘doing business amongst friends’.

Please feel free to contact me with your suggestions or if I can help in any way -

Talking luggage tags for tourists visiting Amsterdam

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be offering passengers who visit Amsterdam this September the KLM Care Tag, a smart audio luggage tag that provides visitors with location-based travel tips. The tag works with offline GPS and features a speaker that reacts with relevant information as the user walks through certain places in the city. KLM used their crews’ voices for the audio, which features hundreds of practical tips about Amsterdam such as where and how to lock up a bike, where to be mindful of pickpockets and where to spot great street art.

The Care Tag comes with a USB charger and its audio works at two different volumes. In addition to its function as a luggage tag, the device can also simply be attached to a handbag or clothing. KLM claims Amsterdam accounts for 45% of all hotel stays in the Netherlands and expects to welcome up to 25 million visitors in 2025. In January 2017, more than 1 million people visited Amsterdam, which is home to less than 900,000 individuals. It is hoped the Care Tag will offer extended customer care in addition to practical advice, such as how to cross busy intersections.

Airlines have been key to adopt technology in different ways to alter the passenger experience for the better of late, including British Airways adopting biometric technology for faster boarding and an app launching that allows travellers to buy frequent flyers’ excess air miles. What part of air travel do you feel could be improved by technology to optimise customer satisfaction?

Find out more on the KLM website.

Looking for a Skål event near you?

Or near to where you're going? All you need do is check the Skål National website - - for a full list of local clubs and details of forthcoming events across the UK.

COMPETITION - 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 the winner of our April competition was...

Claudio Silvestri of Guernsey who recognised the Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfalls system in the world which is situated on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. Well done, Claudio!



This post is based on the November 2017 e-newslettter. Read the full newsletter.

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