November'21 Council Corner

Denise Scrafton

President International Skål Council

Dear Fellow Skålleagues, 

As I head towards my last month as President of the International Skål Council and Christmas is just around the corner, I am delighted to bring you greetings from Oceania. 

In addition to my role on the International Skål Council, I have also been a member of the Executive Board with part of my responsibility being Oceania Membership Engagement. 

After more than 20 months of our international and state borders being closed, Australia is finally welcoming international visitors. Our airlines are busy and tourism product bookings improving. Life is starting to feel normal again, however, we have a fair way to go. As long as we have no more Covid hiccups in this part of the world, I am sure you will see a good Australian delegation at the Croatian Congress in 2022. 

The past Skål International year has been turbulent in some respects, however, we must remember that most Skål International members enjoy their local clubs and here in Oceania we have seen Australia celebrating the famous Melbourne Cup Skål Functions, along with many milestone club anniversaries around the country. My own club, Melbourne, is hosting a black tie dinner to celebrate 60 years of Skål International in December.

The heart of Skål International is in our clubs and I have been delighted in my capacity of International Skål Council President to see the progress and camaraderie between clubs and indeed countries. It was encouraging to experience the magnificent friendship across borders where all the Italian clubs joined forces to twin with Accra in Ghana. This creates a business and friendship relationship that will grow Skål International in both regions. Now this is what Skål International is all about! I was incredibly proud of all the councillors and clubs involved in this union. 

There is a view by many that 2022 may be a tougher year for Skål International membership recruitment and retention that the previous years. On the other hand, it has never been more important for all of us to be connected to our peers in the travel industry. We can learn, discuss, trade and just simply ask how to avoid certain pitfalls. We are literally all in this together, so let's lean on each other!

The December Skål News will welcome your new President of the International Skål Council as of 1 January 2022 - Julie Dabaly Scott from Kenya. 

Julie will bring her own vision to Council and, having worked with her for the past 6 years, I know she will do an amazing job. Julie is very passionate on communication and growing the organisation.

As I said on previous occasions, Skål International is in difficult waters, but exciting times. We need to expand our membership base to meet our new and evolving industry, build on-line business platforms and show the entire industry that Skål International is the leading tourism organisation where business can be conducted with all industry sectors. 

I have put my hand up for Director of Skål International, however, no matter my role in Skål International, I will always be a proud member and have wonderful memories of my time on the Council and Executive Board to date. 

Wishing you all the best and please stay safe.

Yours in Skål

Denise Scrafton 

President International Skål Council