April 2017

Fellow Skålleagues

A message from Skål International, Washington DC President, 

James J. Enright


I would like to take this opportunity to thank a fellow Skål DC member Roger Dow, President and CEO of U.S. Travel Association for organizing a travel industry visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, March 29th. Here's the Press Release that covered it:

WASHINGTON (March 29, 2017)—More than 325 representatives of the travel industry descended on Capitol Hill today, conducting more than 300 congressional meetings and bearing gifts with a message: "Welcome Legit Travelers."

Custom mousepads in the style of a welcome mat emphasized the U.S. Travel Association’s message in recent weeks to lawmakers and the Trump administration: security is key, but it must be balanced with strong messages of welcome to legitimate international business and leisure travelers.

In the wake of executive orders on travel and immigration, tough new visa vetting practices and the introduction of an electronic devices ban on some Middle East-based flights to the U.S., the travel industry has mobilized around the need for balanced communication and travel facilitation in addition to strengthened security.

The travel community is encouraging policymakers to mitigate the possible unintended fallout of aggressive security steps with policies that bolster international travel—for example, preserving Open Skies aviation agreements and supporting Brand USA.

Said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow:

"The travel industry supports efforts to secure travel, but recent policy changes require extra effort to facilitate travel for legitimate international visitors. This year’s record attendance at Destination Capitol Hill demonstrates our industry’s passion and dedication to keeping the U.S. an attractive, welcoming place for people to visit and invest.

"As I have said before, and will continue to say, security and travel facilitation are not, and cannot be mutually exclusive. International inbound travel is our nation’s second-largest export, and millions of American jobs depend upon striking the correct balance. We hope these souvenirs will serve as a reminder of that fact to lawmakers as they craft travel and visa legislation going forward."

Dow had previously called upon U.S.leaders to tell the world "we are closed to terror" but "open for business."    

Thank you Roger for all your efforts, on behalf of the Travel & Tourism Industry, which benefit, not only our Skål DC members, but Skål International members throughout the USA.  We greatly appreciate your efforts!

At our last Board Meeting, the Executive Committee of Skål International Washington DC agreed to welcome spouses and partners to join members at our monthly events. As you may know, in the past, spouses and partners only were invited to attend selected events throughout the year, but moving forward the committee agreed that it is very important that we engage our 'significant others' in our Skål world.

We hope that the visiting Spouses and Partners at our monthly events offer a great opportunity to meet other partners and spouses, talk about work/volunteer options and support each other where possible.  Come mingle and make new friends!

And finally, my thanks to Mark Roche-Garland for the warm welcome and excellent dinner for our March meeting at The Dupont Circle Hotel. 

Skål  International, Application

Please complete the form, print and sign it and mail to Carol Betz.

The above headings are hyperlinks to those particular pages on our web-site. For help on any of the above topics, please click on that wording, while online

From the Desk of our Executive Secretary..........Carol Betz

Auction Fundraising Event is approaching!!      Skål Washington will once again be holding its Annual Auction and Fundraising Event on May 22!   Our member, Eric Pittfield, is looking forward to hosting Skål Washington back to the Holiday Inn Capitol for this fantastic event!   Our event is both a silent and live auction!  But it is only through donations that we can make this event a great success!  

Wonderful fundraising auction items to consider are:

Restaurant gift certificates, hotel overnight stays, spa packages, DC sporting event tickets such as Redskins, Nationals, DC United, wine gift baskets or theme gift baskets like cooking, beach gear, theater or movie tickets, airline / train tickets or even a Keurig!  

And remember, the donations do not need to be local to DC …..  they can be from or going to anywhere!  Perhaps you have a beach house you rent out or a cabin in the woods. Why not offer a weekly or weekend rental package?  

If you have an item to donate to our Auction, please email me at cbetz@tms.com

The funds raised through our auction are used to support the Florimond Volkaert Fund (for Skål members that may need assistance), as well as our other charities such as Tourism Cares, Joe Neary Memorial Fund (fellow Skålleague whose charity supports a children’s home in Sri Lanka).  In addition, the funds are used towards offsetting club costs for sponsoring prospective new members and subsidizing some of our special events.  Please see the 2017 Auction Donation Form on our website.  All auction donation details must be sent no later than Wednesday, May 3 to  Carol Betz, Executive Secretary, cbetz@tms.com, so she can add to the auction listing/ website.  If you have any questions, please contact Carol; forms can be sent via email, but the items must be brought the night of the event.  And remember, this event is OPEN TO ALL!  So invite your friends, neighbors, and colleagues to come and join the fun!!  We look forward to having your support again for this exciting event!

IPW 2017, June 3-7 in Washington DC!!  IPW, hosted by US Travel Association, will be coming to DC for the first time and the city is buzzing!  Skål Washington will be hosting an event on June 5 at Claudia’s Steakhouse (1501 K Street, NW) from 6:00pm – 8:30pm, cost is $75pp.  A cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres and live music at an outstanding venue! We will have a number of fellow Skålleagues from the US and international Skålleagues joining us so be sure to PLAN NOW to be with us on June 5!  

10 Reasons to be a Member of Skål International 

  1. Place your business and tourism community on the SKÅL map as a worldwide destination for tourism and hospitality

  1. Build relationships with other leaders in the tourism industry
    1. Within the 48 USA Chapters
    2. Within the 399 Worldwide chapters -- 15,000 Professionals
    3. Lifelong friendships

  1. Opportunities to exchange ideas and network with other tourism professionals

  1. Travel Discounts - Special rates offered by fellow SKÅLLEAGUES worldwide including:
    1. Car rental Discounts and coupons
    2. Hotel discounts and upgrades
    3. Travel Insurance programs not available to the general public

  1. Mentor industry leaders of the future (Young Skål)

  1. Database access to more than 15,000 members around the globe

  1. Ability to promote your product to members and their clients, business to business opportunities on a local, national and international level

  1. Representation and recognition at Trade Fairs - IPW - IMEX America- ABA (American Bus Association) Marketplace - World Congress and Regional Congresses – discounted access to participate and network with existing and potential Skålleagues, look for the Skål pin or ribbon.

  1. Seminars, educational opportunities and top-notch speakers at meetings and Congresses
    1. Webinars on current industry topics
    2. Best practices

  1. Learn about and support Sustainable Tourism efforts – Get involved in your tourism community
    1. Skål Gives Back
    2. Scholarships
    3. Service projects - Tourism Cares

Recent Happenings of our DC Skålleagues

Brand USA recently received honorable mention at HSMAI’s Adrian Awards, where they received the Platinum Advertising Award.

Congratulations to Skålleague Chris Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA, and his team.

George Washington’s Whiskey

Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe, has recently signed legislation, naming George Washington’s Whiskey, which is still distilled today at Mount Vernon, as the Official Spirit of the Commonwealth.

To mark our first visit to Fairfax County since his appointment as Treasurer of our Club, Barry Biggar, President & CEO of Visit Fairfax, is donating a bottle of the Whiskey, with a flask and shot glasses, together with a copy of the proclamation, as a raffle prize for the April dinner, at Hilton McLean  (Is Barry proud of Fairfax County, or what???......and yes, only attendees can win!) . 

No one needs additional enticement to attend a Skål dinner, but if, by any chance that they did, surely this must be it.

Thank you Barry!

Volunteer for IPW!

IPW is the largest generator of travel to the United States, and will bring tour operators from around the globe to Washington, DC June 3-7. We need you to volunteer with us to show the world just how cool this city is; here are eight reasons you should get involved:

  1.  You can make a difference in the lives of people from all over the world, as IPW attracts people from 70 different countries.

  2.  You get to help others, from providing trip inspiration to travel information.

  3.  It’s an opportunity to show your pride for the city to attendees who are excited to be here and learn about the destination.

  4.  You can pay it forward: IPW will generate $1.7 billion for the city, $84 million in local taxes and directly support 5,300 jobs within three years.

  5.  You’ll get to celebrate DC’s international spirit and welcome the world to the nation’s capital, from the airport to the closing event.

  6.  It’s a chance to make real connections with individuals from all walks of life.

  7.  You’ll get exposure to some of the city’s coolest venues, like Nationals Park and the Newseum.

  8.  IPW 2017 is going to be a whole lot of fun!

What will volunteers do?

Volunteers will fill roles such as:

  *   Airports & Train Station Greeters

  *   Hosts at Convention Center Booths, Registration and Information Desks

  *   Hosts at Hotel Information Desks

  *   Opening Ceremony Event Greeters

  *   Closing Night Event Greeters

  *   Special Events Greeters

Note: Basic registration is open now. Specific shifts will be available for selection in the spring. You must be registered to receive information about shifts.

How to register: Click HERE

Create an account now. Simply log in to select shifts once those instructions have been shared.

Finally, please share this opportunity with your network! 

US Travel, hosted its Destination Capitol Hill Fly-in last month.

Skålleague Roger Dow, President & CEO US Travel Association, Patti Mc Jennett, Snr VP Business Affairs, LATCB, Representative Judy Chu, and Geoff Ballotti, US Travel Chairman and President and CEO of Wyndhm Hotel Group

This Month's Skål DC Event

Reception & Dinner at 

The Hilton McLean Tysons Corner


Hosted by :

Brian Kelleher 

 General Manager

Time & Location:

 Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Reception 6:00 PM

Dinner 7:00 PM

Spouses and Partners welcome

   The Hilton McLean 

Tysons Corner

   7920 Jones Branch Dr
McLean VA 22102

   Phone:  (703) 847-5000

Complimentary Parking

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