January'21 Message from the President


Bill Rheaume

President, Skål International

We must give thanks now that 2020 is behind us and we can look ahead to 2021 with hope for a much better year.

It is also important to remember the positives that came in 2020, because despite the many hardships and disappointments we endured, each of us has a responsibility to ourselves to reflect on some of the good things: 

  • Opportunity to learn new skills, personal and professional;

  • We learned how precious time really is and how to appreciate it;

  • We confirmed how critical our industry is to the economies of the world; and

  • We learned not to take health for granted.

From Skål International’s perspective, we were pleased with the level of member engagement we experienced from all parts of the world as digital communication allowed members to connect virtually to attend webinars with industry leaders, participate in meetings including the first-ever Skål International AGA, collaborate and exchange ideas at virtual trade shows and industry forums. We even achieved the formation of new clubs during the Pandemic. 

As I begin my term as Skål International President, we still face the daunting task of keeping member engagement and interest high while the Tourism Industry slowly recovers from the devastating outcome of COVID and resulting lockdowns and travel restrictions. The Executive Board is committed to supporting that recovery in every way possible and promoting the values of Skål International membership when the importance of community support is so necessary.

My priorities and focus will be on supporting our collective Passion for Tourism through furthering our global partnerships, developing relationships, increasing awareness and influence through tourism industry events in order to increase the value of a Skål International Membership.

Now, with vaccines available, there is finally some light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Our industry must be ready to support the travel companies, airlines, and hoteliers as they fight to survive this incredible downturn. My ability to travel will be a challenge again in 2021 but I commit to participate virtually in as many opportunities as possible and engage with membership. 

I am confident that circumstances will improve and permit us to gather in-person again to attend the World Congress in Quebec City.

I hope to see you there. 

Bill Rheaume

President, Skål International

Passion for Tourism and Professional Pride for Skål