Upbeat prediction for Thailand tourism from new Skål Thailand national president


Thailand’s tourism is set for a bumper year. That’s the view of Andrew Wood, the newly-elected national president of Skål in Thailand. Skål is a global tourism industry organization with almost 20,000 active members in 450 clubs across 85 countries worldwide.

Andrew, formerly general manager of the Chaophya Park hotel in Bangkok, is confident that the tourism and aviation sectors in Thailand can bounce back from recent man-made and natural disasters.

Andrew Wood, new Skål Thailand national president. Andrew Wood, new Skål Thailand national president.

“The signs are looking good, with encouraging numbers of business and leisure travellers opting for destinations in Thailand. Hotel rates in Thailand remain remarkably competitive but hoteliers need to maintain higher levels of occupancy throughout the year to regain, and then maintain, profitability.”

Andrew Wood, a former Skål International councillor, was speaking after the Skål International Thailand AGM at the Rembrandt hotel in Bangkok. He was elected unopposed as president. Brian Sinclair-Thompson, who heads up the influential Board of Airline Representatives in Thailand, stepped down as president after serving two consecutive two-year terms.

Skål’s regional representation in Thailand remains strong with flourishing organizations providing a wide range of industry networking events in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Phuket and Koh Samui.

“Our own challenge in 2012 is to retain members and to attract more representatives from the travel and tourism fraternity to join our organisation. Young Skål in Thailand offers tourism and hospitality students to meet with young professionals and we are fortunate to enjoy the support of top universities such as ABAC,” adds Andrew. “Our members work at the heart of the nation’s tourism industry. Together we continue to support Thailand’s efforts to restore faith and confidence in the leisure and MICE sectors.”

Andrew Wood also paid tribute to the work of Malai Sakolviphak – considered by many as the ‘father’ of Skål Thailand. “Khun Malai, who recently passed away, left behind a powerful legacy and a following of dedicated and committed members”, he said.

Other Skål members elected to serve on the national committee for 2012/14:

* Vice President: Robert Lee (Skål Bangkok)

* Honorary Vice President and Government/Trade Liaison: Somsak Kiratipanich (Skål Bangkok)

* Secretary: Brinley Waddell (Skål Bangkok)

* International Skål Councillor & Director for Young Skål: Scott Smith (Skål Bangkok)

* PR and Communications: Dale Lawrence (President – Skål Bangkok)

* Directors: Annette Kunigagon (Skål Chiang Mai); Boris Blobel (Skål Hua Hin); Michael Biedermann (Skål Koh Samui)