The first face-to-face Skal Asia Congress since the pandemic opened to a fanfare welcome to Asia Skalleagues.

Once again highlighting the association’s strong bonds of friendship and camaraderie in the association’s long 91-year-old history. The Asia Area represents almost 18% of all global members worldwide. Members from more than a dozen countries make up the dynamic Skal International Asia region.

Attend by Skal World President Juan Steta, Vice President Denise Scrafton and Director NSN Mohan along with Past World President Peter Morrison and National Presidents and their representatives from five NatComs in the region. The largest of which was Australia with a strong turnout from their 855 members led by President Ivana Patalano.

The Bali Club under the leadership of President Stefan Mueller and IPP Stuart Bolwell put on a well-managed and highly organised opening ceremony today on the first day of the Congress on the Island of the Gods. The venue was the magnificent Merusaka Hotel Nusa Dua, led by expert Scottish GM Ian Mc.D Campbell.

In his opening address Skal Asia President-elect Keethi Jayaweera said: “On behalf of the Asian Area, it is my great honour to welcome all of you to the opening ceremony of the 52nd Skal Asia Congress.

“It is nearly nine years ago, when we last met in Bali for the 43rd Asian Area Congress. Tourism is not just about leisure and travel, but it is also about creating opportunities for economic growth, cultural exchange and environmental sustainability.

“In the past few years we have been facing unprecedented challenges in the tourism industry including climate change, over tourism and the Covid-19 pandemic. Thankfully tourism is once again showing signs of recovering to its pre-covid levels.

“As members of Skal international, we have a responsibility to lead the way in its recovery, keeping in mind our obligation of promoting sustainable tourism practices. We must work together to ensure that tourism benefits not only the industry but also the local communities and the environment.

“We have today a distinguished line-up of speakers who will share their thoughts, insights and experiences on sustainable tourism, technology and food security.

“But this Congress is not just about learning and sharing. It is also about networking and building relationships. We have delegates from all over Asia and Oceania, representing different sectors of the tourism industry. Let us take this opportunity to connect with each other, keeping to the Skal motto of “Doing Business among Friends”, to exchange ideas and to collaborate on projects that will make a positive impact on our world.”

“I would like to express my gratitude to our speakers today, the host club, Skal International Bali and President Stefan Mueller, the Congress Director Stuart Bolwell and the Organizing Committee, Ian Cameron the General Manager of the Merusaka Nusa Dua and his team who were very accommodating with all our requests, the sponsors and partners who have made this Congress possible. Finally, I would also like to thank all of you fellow Skalleagues from Asia and Oceania for your participation and contribution to this important event. “

Mr. Keethi Jayaweera closed saying, “Let us make the most of this Congress and let us work together to make tourism a catalyst for sustainable development.”