The Skal Asia Mid-term Board Meeting was recently held at the Chaophya Park Hotel, Bangkok, between November 25-30, 2009. A variety of topics were discussed including the upcoming Skål Asian Area Congress in Cebu May 27-30, 2010.
This was the first ever Mid-Term Board meeting that has closely followed acceptable green conference bench marks. These new green conference guidelines were unanimously agreed upon and all future Skal Asia board meetings will be held under similar themes.
As an example, all presentation materials were emailed in advance to all participants, and no paperwork was distributed, thereby saving time, money, and resources. All meeting rooms were powered down when not in use and room temps set at 25°C. All unused food items and unused drinking water were either donated or recycled. Local produce was used as much as possible and homemade amenities and gifts were distributed, including homemade potpourri from rose petals used by the hotel for decorating wedding banquets.
The board also decided to make it a rule that at least one tree will be planted whenever a board meeting is held. A tree planting ceremony was, therefore, held in the grounds of the Chaophya Park Hotel’s gardens to honor this resolution.
“Tourism and the environment are closely related. It is natural that Skal, as a grouping of tourism professionals, should lead the protection and nurturing of the environment,” said Gerry Perez, president of Skal Asia, which represents over 2,600 Skal members in the region.
Commenting on these green initiatives, host Andrew Wood, general manager of the Chaophya Park Hotel in Bangkok, said, “No one can close their eyes and turn away from their responsibilities to protect the world we all share, for the sake of our children’s children and all future generations.”
He added, “The task may seem huge, but it all comes down to one thing, stop greenhouse gas build-up by reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. Whatever small step you, your company, your club or association can make, no matter how small, multiplied many times over, will make a large impact.”
“When should we start? Please all of us, start now,” he concluded.
Director Byong-Hee Woo of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Bangkok Office gave a warm welcoming reception on the first day of the board meeting. The latest promotional video on Korean tourism was presented to all the board members and their guest’s including PATA CEO Greg Duffell. Korea is strongly tipped to host Skal International’s flagship event, the Skal World Congress in Seoul in 2012.