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President of Asian Area addresses Skål International Chiang Mai and North Thailand

President of Asian Area addresses Skål International Chiang Mai and North Thailand

Reinhard Hohler
Photos: by M. Vogt

A weekend meeting of Skål International Chiang Mai and the North on July 30-31, 2005, saw 36 members and friends at The Legend Chiang Rai boutique river resort to discuss the promotion of tourism in the north of Thailand.

A lively discussion on tourism-related issues ensued with Mohamad Jesr (Lotus Hotel Chiang Mai) expressing his views, shared by Lars Magnusson (e-turbo agency).

Skål International President of the Asian Area, Earl Wieman, addressed the meeting and shared some of his experience living in Taipei/Taiwan since 1960. He spoke on the prestigious World Congress which will be held in Pattaya in October 2006, and announced that Skål International Taipei intends to bid for the 2008 event.

Wanida Jamieson (Diethelm Travel Chiang Rai) is obviously enjoying receiving her certificate.

Pattaya won the bid to host the 2006 Congress after it bested London in an election held in 2002. The achievement is credited to the tireless campaigning by local members at that time. Over 1,200 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the congress in Pattaya, from its 22,000 members in 70 countries.

Marc Dumur (The Legend Chiang Rai), David Thomas (Wanna Tours), Duncan Jamieson (Mom Tri’s Co.), and Earl Wieman sharing one of many light moments.

Skål International is a professional organization of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members - the industry’s managers and executives - meet at local, national, regional, and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest.

Marc Dumur (The Legend Chiang Rai), David Thomas (Wanna Tours), Duncan Jamieson (Mom Tri’s Co.), and Earl Wieman sharing one of many light moments.

The first Skål Club was founded in 1932 in Paris by travel managers, following an educational tour of Scandinavia. The idea of international goodwill and friendship grew and, in 1934, the “Association Internationale des Skål Clubs” was formed with Florimond Volckaert as its first president, who is considered the “Father of Skål”.

An entertaining table was shared by (from left) Wanida Jamieson, Wanna Thomas, Sureetip Guntawong (No. 1 Tours), Duncan Jamieson, Yutakit Wanichanond, Wanassanan Krainara, and Anchalee Kalmapijit.

The General Secretariat of Skål International is headquartered in Torremolinos, Spain. The organization is governed by an Executive Committee of seven members, elected by delegates to an annual General Assembly, held during the World Congress, hosted by a different country each year. This allows members first-hand observation of the travel and tourism potential around the world.

Camaraderie and fellowship shown by (from left) David Thomas (Wanna Tours), Willem Niemeijer (Khiri Travel), Jessica Brown (Wind & Fire), Wanassanan Krainara (Wind & Fire), Arie de Keijzer (Rydges Amora Tapae Hotel), Anchalee Kampapijit (Mae Sa Elephant Camp), and Wanna Thomas (Wanna Tours).

As Chiang Rai is being promoted as the Golden Gateway of Lanna Culture and International Trade, being part of the Economic Quadrangle comprising Thailand, Myanmar, China and Laos, it was appropriate to hold the half-year meeting of Skål International Chiang Mai and the North there. The meeting felt it made sense to push a membership drive in this city of the Golden Triangle, bordering Shan State in Myanmar and Laos. Via the Mekong River, China can be reached within one day. If the political unrest in Myanmar settles, tourists can travel from Chiang Rai to Kunming in China’s Yunnan by car on a regular basis. Via a still to be developed transport route through Northern Laos, tourists will reach Dien Bien Phu in Northern Vietnam could continue to Hanoi, its bustling capital.

Earl Wieman, Skål’s Asian area president, presents a certificate to Daniel Schneider (Sun Tours).

Swiss hotel veteran Marc Dumur is the GM of the “The Legend” and was a supreme host for all the functions. The principles of Skål, such as happiness, good health, friendship, and long life were followed in style and wine was offered until midnight. The next morning was reserved for a guided tour to the Rai Mae Fah Luang Foundation.