In the presence of approximately 50 tourism professionals – members of Skål clubs in the USA, Germany, Belgium, and France – Nik Racic, world president of Skål International, celebrated the twinning of the Skål clubs of Paris and Philadelphia from Friday, July 9 to Sunday, July 11, 2010.
A Wine & Cheese Party for professional networking, which was organized, together with tour operators specializing in the USA in the gardens of Interface Tourism – the French representative of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB), set the tone for this Parisian weekend where the slogan of the association, “Doing business among friends,” was at the forefront in an atmosphere of friendship where Parisian service-providers (Marriott Hotels, Fauchon-Le Café, Vedettes de Paris, “Les Etoiles de Paris,” “Meeting the French,” were able to showcase their professionalism to the American delegation led by June Seminario, president of Skål International Philadelphia. She declared “Between Paris – the city of lights and Philadelphia – the city of brotherly love, the historical and cultural ties between the two cities have been rich over the centuries.
“Tourism is an integral part of these ties. Since 2000, the number of trips by the French to Philadelphia has tripled; proof if necessary of the affinity between us. Skål Paris is the founding club of this exceptional movement, which has become Skål International. Philadelphia is a historic city but also one of perpetual creative movement – Paris is the same. In addition to the friendship and tourism between our two cities, which increases yearly, logic would have it that this twinning takes place.”
Founded in Paris in 1932 following an educational trip by French professionals to Scandinavia, the first Skål club gave voice to what was to become the largest association of tourism professionals in the world, which in 2010 has 20,000 members in all sectors of the industry in 480 clubs, in 89 countries.
Nik Racic, world president of Skål International – www.skal.travel – (director of the Croatian Convention & Incentive Bureau) wanted to honor the twinning of the clubs of Paris and Philadelphia with his presence. “Skål brings together, on a worldwide level, an exceptional mix of tourism decision-makers from all sectors, all countries, and all generations. It is more than a worldwide club; it is an exceptional network of affinities, which has its value in the business it can generate for its members. Imagine in 1932, the first club, formed in Paris, had already dreamed about the globalization of our industry. The need for friendly meetings between professionals worldwide has never been more important to the evolution of our industry. Skål in Paris is the guarantor of these values. I am delighted by its renewed dynamism in developing the Skål spirit.” Director of Skål International and member of Skål International Paris, Karine Coulanges, also attended this event.