A Year We’ll Never Forget

A Year We’ll Never Forget


The industry has been damaged as never before, and Skål International, the most trusted voice in the Travel & Tourism Industry is poised to do whatever they can to help the industry get back on its feet. Skål is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry around the world. Skål’s motto of “doing business amongst friends” has never been more important than it is today.

As news followed about the dismantling of the hospitality and tourism industry due to the pandemic and subsequent community travel cancellations and lockdowns, outgoing 2020 Skål President, David Ryan, Skål Sacramento was faced with throwing out all of the strategic plans he had put together for the year, and developed a survival plan where Skål would remain relevant. He put together a series of educational webinars with tourism leaders throughout the country, where they freely shared ideas on how to survive the pandemic and help the industry recover. This year-long program turned out to spur even greater communications then he imagined.

Newly elected officers and leadership team for 2021 are deeply aware of the challenges 2020 left behind and are prepared to face them head on. Officers consist of Jim Dwyer, President, Skål New Jersey; Holly Powers, International Skål Councilor, Skål Boston; Arthur Allis, Vice President Finance, Skål Tucson; Tom Moulton, Vice President Membership, Skål Tucson; Pam Davis, Vice President Public Relations and Communications; Richard Scinta, Vice President Administration, Skål Orlando; Morgan MaravIch, Director of Membership, Skål Washington DC; Mark Irgang, Director of Membership, Skål Long Island; JoAnne Ford, Senior Auditor, Skål Nashville; Robert Lowell, Junior Auditor, Skål New Jersey and Karen Trevino, Deputy Auditor, Skål Arkansas.

2021 President Jim Dwyer has been a Skål member for nearly 30 years and has a real passion for the organization that he is excited about sharing.  He knows one of his largest issues this year will be member retention, as the loss of members due to the damage COVID inflicted on the industry is not yet known but expected to be significant. The Executive Committee is doing all they can to support those members with the dues assistance plan and letting those in need know that Skål will provide both support and networking if they are struggling. “We are facing the biggest challenge in our history and we need to stick together,” he says. “We need to help each other. I won’t tell Clubs what I want, I will ask them what they need.”

Dwyer also suggests that Clubs take preventative action now to retain their membership during these troubled times. “A member can get whatever they want to get out of Skål.  I learned early on that if you focus inwardly and never get out of your own local environment, you’re severely limiting your scope.  Right now, Clubs have the opportunity to network with any Club in the world.”  He recommends getting involved with other Clubs now. Look at the list of membership categories and don’t limit your Club to one or two categories. Lastly, he says, have a joint meeting and broaden your network.  Meet new friends or travel as a group to another Club.  It will change your view of Skål and make your Club stronger than ever. Skål is the largest unified voice in the travel industry today and offers its members a chance to work together to maximize networking opportunities.

This year’s Leadership Team is being tasked with engaging with other clubs as much as possible and getting the Skål name out.  “In most major countries everyone in travel knows Skål,” says Dwyer. “Not so much in the U.S., we need to spread the Skål gospel far and wide. I never want to hear the phase “What is Skål?” after 2021.”  

2021 is sure to bring its share of challenges as the travel industry tries to recover from the past year and the Skål USA Executive Committee is ready to do their part. To learn more about Skål International USA, head to their website at https://skalusa.org.

Skål International is the world’s largest global network of Tourism Professionals promoting Tourism, Business, and Friendship worldwide since 1934. Its members are Directors and Executives of the tourism sector who relate to each other to address issues of common interest, improving a business network, and promoting destinations. Skål International has over 13,000 members in 345 clubs in 100 countries around the world. Skål International USA is currently the largest National Committee of Skål International with over 1,800 members and 45 clubs nationwide. For more information about Skål International USA and membership, please visit SkålUSA.org.

Contact: Pam Davis, (808) 225-8229, [email protected]  

SOURCE Skål International USA

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