July'21 Notes from the Editor

Burcin Turkkan

Skål International Senior Vice President

Significant changes and exciting times are ahead!

We must be ready and work together during this shift.

I have been participating in several meetings/seminars lately with industry and executives, discussing the industry's future from a talent perspective. With travel coming back, the industry is experiencing a massive shortage, especially in the hospitality industry. If you have started to travel lately, you must have noticed the changes in the use of technology in our industry. We already had mobile apps in our lives, but now for traveling, you need them all. It has become a requirement enforced by governments depending on the country you travel to. The touchless check-ins are now everywhere; contactless service, even in some Food & Beverage Outlets, is rising.

So, we now see Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our lives more than ever. The main concern and question are will it replace the touch of humans, and are we going to see it take over the travel industry? Like I quoted for a recent article published within the travel industry; certain positions will never diminish; in hotels - like housekeeping or culinary. We will see differences in AI vs. human services being offered depending on the type of service offered by the hotels, their classification, and their size. I do think the touch of humans will always be needed in the travel and tourism industry. Travel and Hospitality schools need to play their role here by adjusting their curriculum, offering content that will prepare future leaders for this fast-paced shift.

This month's Skål Now Newsletter is covering exciting topics and articles with updates and projections from the travel and tourism industry with some focus on the hospitality industry, high technology involvement, as well as updates from Skål International clubs around the globe with exciting in person meeting news, twinning stories and new club initiatives! There's more exciting news; we have 138 new members who joined Skål International globally within July! Congratulations and welcome to all, and thank you for the hard work of our Skålleagues in growing Skål International! Don't forget to look at the Skål International History section; Antonio García del Valle is taking us back to 1936, the struggles the association went through growing the organization globally. Last but not least, we have a new section added moving forward. We will be featuring Skålleague of the Month under the Skålleague spotlight section. This month we are hosting Savas Colakoglu, President of Skål International Turkey, due to his tremendous efforts in promoting the Skål International brand in media.

I will end this month’s Editor’s note with the lyrics of a song by Fred Gibson and Marea Stamper. It sums up what we have been going through in our personal and professional lives in plain and straightforward for the past 18 months. The part that I like the most in this song is the last part – the vision for after; if we can get through this day by day the next six months, what comes next will be marvelous. All we need is to envision, believe and execute, working together as a team, engaged for the best to come to our personal and professional lives and in Skål International!

This year we've had to lose Our space, we've lost - We've lost dancing;  

All these things that we took for granted

This year we've had to lose - Our space, we've lost dancing

We've lost; The hugs with friends and- And people that we loved

All these things that we took for granted

If I can live through this next six months - Day by day ; If we can live through this – 

What comes next - Will be – MARVELOUS!

Always in friendship and Skål,

Burcin Turkkan

Skål International Senior Vice President

PR, Communications, Digital Media, and Innovations