The 38th SKÅL Asia Congress was successfully held in Incheon, Korea from May
21‐24, 2009 with over 100 international delegates, 150 local members, and VIPs, including SKÅL International president Hulya Aslantas. Under the theme of “SKÅL Present and Future,” various events including a Korean Nanta (cooking) performance and traditional costume fashion shows showcased the beauty and dynamic aspects of Korea.
Main sponsors were The Incheon Metropolitan City Government; Incheon Tourism
Organization; Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), Seoul Tourism Organization; Korean Air, and Visit Korea Commission. It is significant that the SKÅL Congress was held in Korea this year as SKÅL Intl Seoul marked their 40th anniversary. Korea previously hosted the Congress in 1977 and 1987.
At the SKÅL General Assembly on May 23, Mr. Gerald S.A. Perez was newly elected for president, SKÅL Asia Area Committee, for a term of two years, 2009 – 2011, along with a new board of officers:
Vice President Southeast Asia, Andrew Wood, Thailand
Vice President East Asia, Mr. Hiro Kobayashi, Japan
Vice President West Asia, Praveen Chugh, India
Director of Membership Development, Robert Lee, Thailand
Director of Finance, Malcolm Scott, Indonesia
Director of Public Relations, Robert Sohn, Korea
Director of Young SKÅL & Scholarship, Dr. Andrew Coggins, Hong Kong
International Councilor, Graham Blakely, Macau
Executive Secretary, Ivo Nekpavil, Malaysia
Auditors K. S. Lee, Korea and Christine Leclezio, Mauritius
The congress headquarters hotel was the Hyatt Regency Incheon.
“Tonight is a time for celebration and a time for reflection. It is a time to celebrate the many good things for which to be thankful. And a time to celebrate friendships, new and old, and doing business among friends. But it is also a time to pause and take stock of where we are today with SKÅL and where we can take it into the future,” said Perez in his inaugural speech.
“As an international association that reaches into all branches of the travel and tourism industry, as an association comprised of industry managers and executives who penetrate local, national, and international levels of leadership, can we afford leaving to chance what will affect our industry, or should we harness the power within us to shape – indeed impact for the good – an industry that can promote peace through friendship, an industry that can alleviate poverty through responsible stewardship of our resources, an industry that is over 10 percent of global GDP and nearly 900 million travelers around the globe?” he added.