Message from Julie Dabaly Scott, International Skål Councillor Kenya
Julie Dabaly Scott
International Skål Councillor Kenya
Secretary, International Skål Council 2020
As we all know, 2020 has been a very difficult year for us in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Many of us have been forced to downsize our business or close them all together.
We have been forced to let go of staff and completely rethink our business strategies.
I have been in the Travel Industry for many years and have faced many different challenges, none of which could have ever prepared me for this pandemic. However, as we all know life must go on and now that many countries are working on developing a vaccine, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I do not think we will ever go back to working the way we used to. The virus has taught us that as well as travel, life must change.
I would like to thank my ISC colleagues for voting me in as your Senior Vice President. I look forward to working with our New ISC President, Denise Scrafton, Vice President Jean-Francois Cote and our newly appointed Secretary, Bimbo Durosinmi-Etti. In our recent ISC elect board, we discussed the need to work closely with the Councillors, so as to re-energize the Council. I have been tasked with taking the lead in Membership for Africa, Europe and Turkey. I look forward to working with the ISC in these regions. We had an excellent webinar presentation by Past President Lavonne Wittmann on changing the dialogue on membership, gain and retain. I look forward to sharing what we learnt and discussed and I am sure Lavonne will always be there to guide us. I will also be in charge of PR, Communication and Mentorship and will work closely with Skål International Directors in charge of these portfolios as we raise the profile of the Council.
I asked our National Committee what they would like to see from their Councillor and Maureen Ogola a Past President of Skål International Kenya wrote that she would like to see more engagement of Past Presidents, both Skål International and Local, with the Council so that they remain relevant, as Past President Lavonne is doing for Skål International clubs in Africa. She also would like to see more training created by Skål International for the Executive Committee of clubs to enable them to better perform their duties.
We all know the importance of building and rebuilding partnerships and strengthening fruitful collaborations in our industry, during and after this pandemic, in order to rebuild better and more resilient business and hence a more resilient industry as a whole. We are well placed to do this with our Skål International members around the world, of 13,510 in over 101 counties. Let us be what we say we are – The only organization that brings together the entire tourism industry and promotes friendship, business and tourism worldwide. COVID-19 has shown us the value of our freedom – freedom to move, to travel, to be with those we value and love, to be able to hug each other, to live in dignity and feel security for ourselves, our loved one, strangers and those less fortunate in our society.
It has shown us that we need to recognize the true purpose of our businesses and economies, our governments, our conventions and ideologies, and all other systems in place to serve human needs.
Despite the numbers of virtual meeting we have had and will continue to have, I have missed seeing and being with all of you Skållegues. But for now, we all have to stay safe and we know if we do the right thing, we will soon be together.