After languishing for a few years, Skål International Pattaya and East Thailand was re-launched at the Dusit Thani Pattaya last week. Many of the heavyweights in the tourism arena were on hand to witness Tony Malhotra donning the chain of office as president of the reborn association.
With Skål International having been inaugurated in 1934 and now covering 85 countries and with over 20,000 members in 450 cities and being represented in Thailand in Skål Bangkok, Skål Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand, Skål Hua Hin and Cha Am, Skål Koh Samui and Skål Phuket, it was time for Pattaya and East Thailand to once again take its rightful place of importance as the closest tourist destination to Thailand’s major international airport, Suvarnabhumi.
Pratheep Malhotra eloquently hosts the evening.
The re-launch was greeted with enthusiasm by Skål International President Mok Singh who sent a personal message of congratulations to Tony Malhotra, deputy managing director of Pattaya Mail Publishing, as the new president of Skål Intl Pattaya and East Thailand, and to Andrew Wood, the national president, Skål International Thailand, who had been pushing hard to see Pattaya back in the fold.
“Congratulations to both Andrew and Tony on this auspicious re-launch,” Mok said, with the response from Andrew J Wood being, “It has been a long time since we were able to talk Skål to Pattaya’s travel and tourism leaders and I am delighted to announce that we are re-starting the Pattaya Club.”
Chatchawal Supachayanont, GM of the host venue welcomes Skålleagues and guests.
Andrew went on to say, “It’s very important for any tourism destination to have such organizations to meet on a regular basis and meet colleagues in the hospitality business and keep abreast of progress. It tells the world that we are here and we are serious about tourism.
“Every year at the world Skål congress we have we have an environmental award. And Skål is very involved, especially with sustainable tourism that doesn’t destroy the environment, which is a very important aspect of why tourism should come to our country.”
New president Tony Malhotra said, “Pattaya is expanding rapidly and there are many new tourism projects planned. It is important to support our (Skål) members’ efforts to promote Pattaya to all our friends around the world. A destination with a Skål Club sends out a message to all stakeholders and suppliers that we are serious about the business of tourism and we have a strong and committed work ethic to promote and support our city. I will do my best to mirror those principles.”
Senator Sutham Phanthusak addresses the members on the re-launch.
He also said, “(We need) to get the word out about Skål Pattaya and the East, as it’s been quiet for the last two years. We’ll have a monthly get together with people in the hospitality business, either members or non members, and we’ll have great speakers for our events. We have enjoyed a good response from golf and travel agents and airlines.”
The re-launch party was indeed a spectacular affair, with entertainment being carried out by the tourism professionals who are working in the Dusit Thai itself, a fact that GM Chatchawal Supachayanont was particularly proud.
“Pattaya must have a Skål chapter, otherwise it cannot be an international tourist destination. With the kick off tonight we will go on to make Skål bigger and better which in turn will bring more business to Pattaya,” GM Chatchawal Supachayanont predicted.
President Tony Malhotra thanks his members for having confidence in his presidency.
An address to the guests was also given by Senator Sutham Phanthusak, who has been a stalwart promoter of Pattaya for some decades.
“I’m very glad to be part of the re-launching of Skål,” the senator said. “Pattaya is one of the major tourism cities (in Thailand) and it cannot go without Skål.
“The government has predicted that in 2015 the number of tourists will reach 36 million and I believe one third of that will be (going to) Pattaya. In the same year we will be part of AEC, and it is expected (many of the) 600 million of the population of these countries will be traveling around in the 10 member countries, of which at that time it will be borderless. Therefore the potential of tourism will grow immensely in the next few years.
“I congratulate Tony, the son of my good friend Peter, the founder of Pattaya Mail, the first English language newspaper and still growing strong. I wish Tony great success as the president of Skål Pattaya and East Thailand.”
Andrew Wood, President of Skål International Thailand, installs Tony Malhotra as President of Skal International Pattaya & East Thailand.
Peter Malhotra, MD of Pattaya Mail Publishing, who was one of the founding members of the original Pattaya chapter in 1977, also gave an eloquent speech. “This is a historic evening. I didn’t realize when I was one of the founding members some thirty years ago that one day my son would become president of the club. Thirty five years ago this place was just starting up with very few hotels and travel agents, since then it has grown tremendously. We can say that we’ve seen it all and done it all; now we need new blood to show their abilities.
“We need to get this thing rolling again, because we know people love to travel, and it’s all about business. We want to see the members become successful, and when you have a lot of money from your business you can give to charity and help others, and this is what it is all about.”
Senator Sutham Phanthusak congratulates President Tony Malhotra.
Peter was also part of the lobbying group for Pattaya to be the venue for the 2006 Skål world congress, snatching that auspicious event from London, at the 2005 congress in Cairns, Australia. Peter even wore the special jacket that was made for the event!
After the buffet, members and guests mingled and it was obvious that the Skål motto of “doing business with friends” had already begun, with Past President Ingo Raeuber (GM Pinnacle Resorts), signing up new members on the night.
Tony Malhotra with Bundarik Kusolvitya, President of THA Eastern Chapter.
Ingo, who served for 3 and half years as president, said he functioned as president, treasurer and other jobs at the same time, and said his greatest achievements during his term were the Gold Award for second highest membership in one year. “We support young people in education, especially in the hospitality business as we, from the older generation, are retiring soon,” he concluded, prompting a good laugh.
New President Tony Malhotra now has the job of rounding up all the new GM’s in the Pattaya hospitality industry, and taking the Skål chapter to a higher plane during 2013.
John van Zantvoort, Corry Bik and Andrew Wood.
(L to R) Andrew Wood, Liz Blakey, Bundarik Kusolvitya, Graham Blakey, Senator Sutham Phanthusak, Tony Malhotra, Chatchawal Supachayanont, Scott Smith, Brinley Waddell, Ingo Raeuber, Marlowe Malhotra, Rungratree Thongsaai and Pratheep Malhotra.
(L to R) Brinley Waddell, Skål International Thailand Secretary; Graham Blakey, Skål International director; Garth Solly, vice president of Skål International Pattaya and East Thailand and Andrew Wood, Skål International Thailand president.
Yuwathida Jeerapat, Pattaya city councilwoman and spokesperson with Pratheep Malhotra, founding member of Skål International Pattaya and East Thailand.
(L to R) SI Thailand President Andrew Wood, Senator Sutham Phanthusak, Chatchawal Supachayanont, GM of Dusit Thani Pattaya and Yuwathida Jeerapat.
Tony and Rungratree pose with the Dusit Thani Honey Bees who put on a spectacular Indian themed song and dance show much to the enjoyment of the guests.
Pichai Visutriratana was on hand to welcome Skalleagues and guests to the event, shown here welcoming Chonlatee Nakamadee, hotel manager of dusitD2 baraquda Pattaya.
(L to R) Garth Solly, vice president of Skål International Pattaya and East Thailand, Pichai Visutriratana, director of Worldwide Destinations Asia Co Ltd, Andrew Wood, Skål International Thailand president and Dominique Rongé, GM, Centara Grand Resort & Spa Pattaya.
Dr Iain Corness and Peter Cummins.
(L to R) Scott Smith, Pratheep Malhotra, Paul Strachan, Irena De Ribas and Danilo Becker.
(L to R) Tony Malhotra, Gudmund Eiksund and Jeanette Eiksund Heltne.
Graham Blakey and Elfi Seitz, also a founding member of Skal Pattaya..
(L to R) Rungratree Thongsaai, Phimjai Waddell and Pichai Visutriratana
(L to R) Somporn Naksuetrong, Vice President of Royal Garden Plaza, Brinley Waddell and Dominique Rongé, GM, Centara Grand Resort & Spa Pattaya.
Bruce and Judy Hoppe flew in from the US for this special occassion.
(L to R) Hans Banzinger, Swiss Paradise Resort, Wacharee Pornchaiwisuthikul, Director of Sales & Marketing, Dusit Thani Pattaya and Danilo Becker, hotel manager of Thai Garden Resort.
Allan Riddell, director and Pasit Foobunma, board member of the South African Chamber of Commerce.
Hans Banzinger enjoys a chat with immediate past president Ingo Raeuber.
Greig Ritcie and Peter Malhotra congratulate each other on the re-launch of Skål International Pattaya and East Thailand.
(L to R) Sudaporn Changthong, of Infinity Magazine, Tony Malhotra, Janya Rattanaliam and Neil Maniquiz from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.
Olivier Jallageas (right) from Baan Pictory enjoying a chat with Richard Margo, RM of Amari Orchid Pattaya.
Papakan Saguansap (Jeena), Holiday Inn Pattaya with Pattamon Mekavarakul, Cape Dara Pattaya.
(L to R) Tony Malhotra, Dueanpen Thongsombat, Amari Orchid Pattaya, Alissara Khamprachom, Furama Jomtien Beach and Sarayut Moolpakdee, Sahapakdee Construction.
(L to R) Dmitry Chernyshev, EAM, Pullman Pattaya Hotel G, Tony Malhotra and Janjira Buanlee, PR Manager Pullman Pattaya Hotel G.
Nittaya Patimasongkroh congratulates Tony Malhotra on his presidency.