WINNIPEG — Skål International elected a new president of its Executive Board for 2021 at its 81st Annual General Meeting, which this year was held online for the first time ever due to the global pandemic.
Bill Rheaume, a member of Skål International since 1992, says he is excited at the prospect of leading the world’s largest travel and tourism association. A member of Skål International since 1992, Rheaume previously served as President of Skål Canada as well as President of the International Council for two years prior to being elected as a Director at the Skål World Congress in Mombasa, Kenya in 2018.
Rheaume is also Director, Management Services for Integrated Hospitality Management (IHM) and has been a travel and tourism industry professional for over 20 years. He brings with him senior management experience at destination hotels and resorts located in the Canadian Rockies, and also served as President of the Skål Canadian Rockies Club in 2000 and 2001.
In his new role as President of the Executive Board, Rheaume’s theme for 2021 is ‘Passion for Tourism and Professional Pride for Skål.’
“Our focus will be on increasing Global Partnerships, modernizing our governance model and providing decisive leadership for the association’s and tourism’s post COVID-19 recovery, we are after all Travel and Tourism Organization dedicated to promoting TRAVEL and TOURISM,” said Rheaume.
The Skål International Executive Board consists of one president, two vice presidents, and three directors representing various member countries within Skål International.
The AGM was well attended with over 281 delegates representing over 90 countries. Canada was present with delegates representing 17 Skål Clubs in Canada. The event was live streamed on YouTube and watched by 1,266 viewers.
New Zealand’s Peter Morrison, Past President Skål International, honoured Canadian Skål members during the Annual General Assembly (AGA). Denis Smith, Skål Canada Executive Director and member of Skål Canada Winnipeg was awarded Skål’s highest recognition, the Order of Skål Merit for his contribution to the Skål global digital transformation project. Jean Francois Cote, Skål Canada’s International Councillor, member of Skål Canada Quebec City Club and Chairman of the Board, Quebec City Tourism, was also named Skålleague of the Year.
Skål International hosts the annual Sustainable Tourism Awards, which were presented at the virtual AGA. Western University of London, Ontario was the recipient of the Sustainable Tourism Award for the Education, Programmes and Media category.
Jean Pelletier, President of Skål Canada said: “It was a great day for Canada. We are very proud that our Skål Clubs and members across the country are recognized around the world for their contributions to the travel and tourism industry and the advancement of Skål. We are excited that Bill Rheaume is our new worldwide President for 2021. Bill will provide the leadership and passion that we will all need in this time of tourism recovery. And, we look forward to hosting the world in Quebec City in October 2021 at the Skål International Congress and “Doing business among friends”.
The 2020 World Congress was originally scheduled to be held in Opatija Kevarner, Croatia but was cancelled due to the pandemic. The 2021 Skål International World Congress is scheduled to take place in Quebec City between October 12-17, 2021, hosted by the Skål Quebec City Club.