Skål International Thailand meets

By Andrew J Wood

On my road trip visit to Krabi and Phuket, I was fortunate to attend a Skål International meeting in both towns.

As President of Skål International Bangkok it is always a great opportunity to visit my sister clubs in Thailand.

Throughout the world we have 345 clubs in 104 countries. Skål International is represented locally, nationally and regionally, I am honoured to wear three hats in the World of Skål International being VP in both Skål International Thailand and Skål International Asia.

Skål International Krabi

The meeting in Krabi took place on the 29th July 2020 at the 5* Anana Ecological Resort.

Billed as a Krabi “SOS” Dinner meeting by resort owner and club President Wolfgang Grimm issued his SOS message (spirit of sharing) and the meeting would discuss how to be an active driver of the local Tourism community and in these unprecedented times, develop new and different strategies to make our jobs and our communities more sustainable in a COVID world.

Guest speaker was Kevin Rautenbach Snr VP Skål International Thailand who presented Krabi Destination Domain to promote the best carbon conscious hotel and tour products of the destination. The distribution and booking platform will be provided by Traveliko OTA free of charge. The one time charge for the new website and service was presented during the meeting. All channel manager reservations from this website are free of commission. At the meeting Kevin also discussed CSR projects that protect nature and resolve hunger in Krabi, also carbon offset ideas such as creating edible light hydroponic landscapes on flat roof tops and/or participate to grow/protect trees, mangroves and seagrass in association with offset organisations.

Anana was not fully open on the day of the meeting however Wolfgang felt it was important that we meet face-to-face to consider the benefits of cooperation. The resort opened to guests a few days later and is now operational following lockdown.

The event was free of charge with the meal being provided by three Krabi institutions; Anana Ecological Resort, Umberto’s Italian Cuisine and Cooper’s Speciality Kitchen.

With 30 attendees it was a great turnout for this small resort town! We had a very interactive 2 way dialogue led by President Wolfgang after dinner about what Krabi Skålleagues would like to see happen going forward and they gave a good strong affirmation on the clubs plan to make Krabi the No.1 ecotourism resort destination in Thailand after VP Kevin Rautenbach’s excellent presentation on Destination Marketing.

Two Skålleagues over the course of the evening donated over 2 rai (3200 sqm) of flat roof and ground space for Skål International Krabi’s use for eco friendly projects. To be able to convert unused space into areas for reusable community projects such as agriculture including edible landscapes.

President Wolfgang commented, “What a great night. What a great result. We launched an idea to explore Tourism related Community Farming on a Roof in Krabi Town and land in Klong Muang provided free of charge.

Amazing! Two members immediately volunteered their properties to initiate this milestone project.”

For further information contact : Wolfgang Grimm.

Skål International Phuket

The venue was the stunning InterContinental Phuket Resort for Skål International Phuket’s AGM on the 6th Aug 2020 at 15.45 hrs & 18.00 hrs cocktail dinner.

Having exceeded a 25% quorum of members the Skål International Phuket AGM opened with Acting President Robert De Graaf with his welcome of all to the meeting including founding member Methee Tanmanatragul and visiting Skålleague President AJ Wood from Bangkok.

Apologies had been received from Skål International Thailand President Wolfgang Grimm.

In his opening remarks Robert mentioned his special thanks to Past President Richard Valentine who is recovering well.

Due to the cancellation of the Skål International Asia Conference which had been slated for June this year, that along with much of the islands Tourism industry had stopped in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert went onto thank the Phuket Exco for their continued hard work in a chaotic year for Tourism globally.

Reports were presented by members of the committee followed by the election of the new 2020-22 board of officers:

  • President Robert de Graaff.

  • VP Krit Srabua.

  • Secretary François Laing.

  • Treasurer Kevin Rautenbach.

  • Young Skål Ben Tabateau.

  • Marketing Fred R. Muenger.

  • Digital Niklas Wagner.

A good turnout afterwards on the beach lawn of the Resort for the monthly networking cocktail with 40-50 pax in attendance had a real buzz.

For further information contact : Francois Laing.