July'21 Message from the CEO

Daniela Otero

CEO Skål International

                  The strength of the group in difficult times

                  We are very proud of the impact of Skål International's alliance with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the #SafeTravels Stamp initiative that our organization offers to benefit all our members they can apply it in their companies. 

                  As announced earlier, the #SafeTravels Stamp, promoted by the WTTC, collaborates with international organizations and leading associations of the tourism industry, taking into account the updated guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This allows travelers to recognize destinations and companies worldwide that have adopted standardized global health and hygiene protocols to ensure safe travel.

                  Many Skål International members already enjoy this badge and request to continue to grow on our website to get it (here, you can get information and make the request).

                  This initiative, which comes from the private sector and to which destinations from all over the world are being added, will help standardize measures and protocols, which will allow the gradual reopening of the tourism industry to continue safely.

                  'Normal' tourism is coming back.

                  Industry entrepreneurs face the return to 'normal' tourism with caution. Still, with optimism, since after a year and a half marked by the pandemic, they trust that in the third quarter of 2021, there will be a revival of all tourist activity. This will be possible due to the improvements in health situations, the advancement of vaccinations, and the progressive reopening of borders in many countries.

                  Also, with the recent implementation of the COVID Digital Certificate by the European Union, consumer confidence is expected to settle down in Europe and allow for mobility at a critical time for tourism.

                  #SafeTravels Stamp

                  The #SafeTravels Stamp is an excellent example of private international collaboration created to help the restarting of safe travel and global tourism activity, recover so many jobs linked to the industry, etc. And the revival of the tourism industry is essential and critical to the global economic recovery!

                  In the words of UNWTO Secretary-General Pololikashvili: "A coordinated approach is essential to ease and lift travel restrictions when safe to do so. In this way, not only will destinations open up again for tourism but also having clear and coherent rules between countries will greatly contribute to the regaining of confidence in international travel and will boost consumer adherence".

                  The European Commission and the institutions of the European Union have done an excellent job. Still, EU member states must adopt a coordinated and harmonized approach, aligning policies to avoid fragmentation and confusion among tourists, who need easy-to-understand rules and regulations to travel without problems in these difficult times. The issue of new controls at airports, ports and stations with international traffic also deserves special attention since its restrictions, and new measures affect waiting times and ticket processing.

                  The great truth is that the summer tourist season is already underway in much of the world. We predict that the #SafeTraveles Stamp will be an essential thermometer to evaluate and make forecasts for the last months of the year.

                  Community work

                  Some analysts say that we must get used to uncertainty. That partial or total state of ignorance that we have about what will happen in the future seems to be the only constant we will have in the coming months.

                  Therefore, from here, I encourage you to work as a community in all that you can. Let's take care of and transform our businesses. Let's coordinate actions within our communities. Let's get together whenever we can with other Skål International colleagues and work together!

                  In this respect, I add three good tips I heard recently in a forum on ''United work teams against COVID-19'' that I had the opportunity to attend, and that I consider being very useful, especially in current times:

                  • Maintain good interprofessional relationships.

                  • Create a joint project.

                  • Work on collaboration and coordination between specialties and professions since it allows you to focus on people, thus forming outstanding multidisciplinary teams.

                  Undoubtedly, one of the lessons to be learned from this pandemic is that the most critical value of the human being is living in society and belonging to a support group.

                  For this reason, we urge you to create, promote and facilitate connections of trust and friendship in your environment through Skål International. This joint action by the entire membership will impact our businesses and help to revive the global tourism industry.

                  One by one, we all add up. Together it's possible.

                  Daniela Otero,

                  CEO Skål International