June 2017

Fellow Skålleagues

A message from Skål International, Washington DC President, 

James J. Enright

The Skål DC Dinner and Auction on May 22nd was an excellent event with our host Eric Pittfield, DOSM at Holiday Inn Capitol providing a wonderful meal and great atmosphere for all the bidders in the room. Thank you Eric for an outstanding evening.

As President of Skål International Washington DC, representing our members from the Travel & Tourism organizations in our area, along with the 399 chapters around the world with over 15,000 members, we strongly fully support the comments made by our valued Skålleague Roger Dow, President & CEO of U.S. Travel Association in support of Brand USA.  Roger’s comments are copied below! Chris Thompson, President & CEO, and also a local Skålleague, has done an excellent job in promoting the USA around the world. Brand USA are active in 40 international markets. They have travel trade relations with tour operators, wholesalers and meeting planners in over 20 markets. They keep the pulse of what people are thinking and how they are reacting.

Brand USA economic impact

Brand USA generated $3.0 billion in incremental visitor spending to the US in FY2015. Including indirect and induced impacts, a total of $6.6 billion in economic activity was generated by Brand USA. Economic activity generated by Brand USA sustained 44,533 jobs earning $1.9 billion in personal income. At $457 million, Brand USA generated more than double its funding in incremental Federal taxes and another $410 million in state and local taxes. To read the Brand USA reports for FY 2015 and the FY 2017 Business Plan please click on this link. http://www.thebrandusa.com/about/reports

Please read Roger Dow’s comments here.

Brand USA under threat

Roger Dow, the president and CEO of the US Travel Association, has issued a statement questioning proposals to scrap funding for Brand USA.

The statement was issued after it emerged that plans to eliminate the tourism marketing agency were included in President Donald Trump's federal budget document.

"With all that's going on in the world, unilaterally disarming the marketing of the US as a travel destination would be to surrender market share at the worst possible time," said Dow.

"It's especially perplexing that the elimination of Brand USA is on the table when both commerce secretary Ross and OMB director Mulvaney each have supported it previously."

Dow argued that the creation of Brand USA was a bipartisan effort led by Republicans that passed both chambers by overwhelming majorities. He said the agency was responsible for adding $8.9 billion to the US economy last year, according to the firm Oxford Economics, a 28-to-1 return on investment.

"Brand USA isn't funded with a dime of taxpayer money, reduced the deficit by $50 million, and by the OMB's own accounting eliminating it would put the federal budget further in the red," he continued.

"With international visitation being the country's number two export supporting 15 million American jobs, we're struggling to understand how cutting Brand USA squares with this administration's stated priorities."

Dave Lorenz, vice president travel for the state of Michigan, added his support.

"Brand USA is an important partner with the State of Michigan in our efforts to encourage international leisure travel to Michigan and to the entire Great Lakes area.

"Michigan has benefitted from the highest rate of growth of international travel to any state in the country and much of this success is due to our collaboration with Brand USA.

"We strongly support funding US Customs and Border Patrol operations at appropriate levels while also funding our marketing efforts through the ESTA program.

"All legitimate travellers are welcome to visit the USA and it's important that we continue to 'market the welcome' in an efficient and effective way."


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

We had a great evening at our 22nd Annual Auction & Fundraising Event last month!  Special thanks to out host and member, Eric Pittfield and the Holiday Inn Capitol for this fantastic event!   Our guest auctioneers, Randy Herron and Morgan Maravich, did a great job encouraging our guests to bid on these great items!   This year we were able to offer 12 live auction items including sporting event tickets, hotel overnight stays and Potomac River cruises along with 20 silent auction items ranging from local restaurant gift cards to designer jewelry.   Not to mention our Wine Cork Pull where 2 of our guests received bottles of wine valued at $100 …. For only a $20 chance!  A great evening overall!!   We have so many people to thank for their donations to support this event, those business are listed below:


McLean Hilton, Tysons                                            Trump Hotel, Washington, DC

Sofitel,  Lafayette Square                                       Meander Plantation

Holiday Inn Capitol                                                  Cherry Blossom Festival

DC United                                                                 Buttercream Bake Shop

Fairmont Washington                                             Red Hen Restaurant

Moxy Hotel, New Orleans                                       Boundary Stone Public House

Entertainment Cruises/ Odyssey                           All Purpose Pizzeria

Newseum                                                                 Kirkley Hotel, Lynchburg, VA

Renaissance Hotel, Allentown, PA                        Holiday Inn Washington, DC - Central/White House



This year we raised just over $5,000 and these funds 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.  This event would not be possible without your support with donations and attending…… a special thanks to all!



And it is HERE!!!   IPW 2017, June 3-7 in Washington DC!!  IPW, hosted by US Travel Association, is about to begin!   Destination DC and Washington, DC is very proud to host this great event!   And don’t forget about Skål Washington’s gathering on Monday, 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! 



Recent Happenings of our DC Skålleagues

The 142nd Preakness Stakes was held May 20, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore with Cloud Computing claiming the win. Shown here (left to right): Clayton Whitehead, Sports Leisure Vacations; Morgan Maravich, National Tour Association; Jennifer Jones, Maryland Office of Tourism; and Rich Gilbert, Maryland Office of Tourism.

This Month's Skål DC Event

Reception & Dinner at 

The Army Navy Club

Hosted by :

Colonel Robert Vaughn 

Skål International Washington Past-President

Time & Location:

 Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Reception 6:00 PM

Dinner 7:00 PM

   The Army Navy Club 

   1700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

   Phone:  (703) 521-6800

     Complimentary Parking