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Skål International Kolkata launches World’s Largest Young Skål chapter accompanied by Two Days event highlighting Resurgence in Tourism.

Kolkata, India, April 30, 2022: Giving a major shoutout to the global travel and tourism community from Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, the eastern state of India, the city chapter of Skål International, now a leading light in the Skål movement, Skål International Kolkata 127 organised a two-days mega event to celebrate the resurgence of tourism and the launch of world’s biggest Young Skål chapter, Young Skål Kolkata (YSK in short) the youth brigade of the world’s biggest and most important travel & hospitality association comprising over 180+ registered YSKs who will be mentored by nearly 150 senior members of Skål Kolkata.
India is a country that has the largest ever youth population. According to the United Nations Population Fund projections, India will continue to have one of the youngest populations in the world till 2030. India is experiencing a demographic window of opportunity, a ‘youth bulge’ that will last till 2025. India’s youth face several development challenges, including employment. Yet, with investments in their participation and leadership, young people can transform the social and economic fortunes of the country.

Hospitality, a single word includes 44 segments like Airlines, Airport, Car Hire, Hotels, Travel Agents, Inbound/Outbound Tour Operators, Travel Insurance, Restaurants etc. These segments all put together is a sector that always gives entry to the young brigade and gives them a good stepping stone in their career. Skål International is the largest global association of hospitality & tourism professionals aiming to connect hospitality, aviation, and other verticals across the world. Its members spread worldwide are industry leaders, top managers and executives who meet at the local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and deliberate upon topics of common interest, with the goal of doing business among friends. Currently headquartered at the General Secretariat in Torremolinos, Spain, the first Skål Club was founded in 1932 in Paris. Today Skål International has 12,000+ members in 325+ clubs across 100 countries. Skål International has always given this a top priority and hence Young Skål is a major part of the organisation.

Skål International Kolkata, established in 1954 is one of the most active Skål clubs in India and in the world continuously engaging and networking with the international and national tourism boards, hotels, airlines and many other tourism-related services providers towards improving the business of the fraternity. Skål International Kolkata (www.skalkolkata.org) has a total of 300+ members including 150+ senior members who are the crème of the Kolkata travel & hospitality industry including top travel agents, tour operators, senior management of hotels, the representatives of domestic and international airlines, tourism and hospitality institutions, corporate travel management companies, representatives of international online travel companies and the travel media. Now the club has added 180+ youngsters who are going to be the future leaders of the travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industry.

Aiming to attract students from all top hospitality institutions in the city, Skål International Kolkata took the initiative to contact institutes and their administrations to explain to them, the benefits the next generation will gain being associated with Skål. As a step forward, with their help & support, Skål International Kolkata got in touch with the pool of students. It was then, that the Young Skål Kolkata wing was initiated where youth members were enrolled under the international guidelines to engage in various activities aimed towards their professional development. The young boys and girls are extremely proud to be associated with industry leaders and learn from them by participating in exhibitions, CSR events and assisting in conducting networking events. It’s not only the students but principals of leading colleges who have also come forward to join as Senior Members of Skål INTERNATIONAL KOLKATA to understand the way forward and carve a robust path for the generation next.

Dr. Sagnik Chowdhury, Deputy Director General and Regional Director East, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
commented "Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is celebrating Youth in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav as young India ensures that the future of India and Indian Tourism is bright and therefore initiatives like Young Skal complements this narrative perfectly. We congratulate all the newly inducted Young Skalleagues in this occasion and wish them to become Top Entrepreneurs, Managers and Strategists and be the guiding force for the country."

On the occasion, Skål International World President Burcin Turrkan commented, “I commend Skål International Kolkata and Skål India for supporting the global Skål movement by attracting the future leaders of the travel and tourism industry in Young Skål to become part of Skal International which is the only leading association hosting all branches of tourism and travel industry for 9 decades now.”
Commenting at the inaugural ceremony and induction of the Young Skål members, Mr. Sanjeev Mehra, the 1st Vice President of Skål India & President of Skål Kolkata said, “We have now launched the world’s largest Young Skål program with 180+ students and will continue to add more members in the coming months. However, our work now begins in a new area and that is to provide the necessary mentorship, skill development and leading to internships and finally productive lives through quality opportunity in hospitality industry. Over the next few months, the team at Skål Kolkata Executive Committee will work towards developing the list of mentors locally and across India, as we have a unique advantage since we have access to travel trade, hospitality, academic institutes, aviation and transport industry members through Skål International India. Our success is reflective of the trust that educational institutions placed in us and will help develop the program and support services across India. It’s not the end, Skål Kolkata is bidding for Skål World Congress 2024/2025 into Kolkata. I am sure Kolkata will get this at the great time frame in Durga Puja which is world’s biggest long day’s events and is marked as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This year we will be having World Congress in Croatia & in 2023 it will be held in Quebec City, Canada.”

Mr. Carl Vaz, the President of Skål International India said, “It is indeed an honor and pleasure for the national board and club Presidents from across India to be present here on this historic occasion to celebrate the launch of the world’s Largest Young Skål program on the occasion of World Skål Day.” He further added, “We also had the World President of Skål International Ms Burcin Turkkan and World Vice President Mr Juan Steta joining us live online for this celebration. The efforts of Skål Kolkata President Sanjeev Mehra with his board members have set a new benchmark for performance and service to the travel industry.”

“Kolkata has been a leading light of Skål India, the front runner in all its endeavors and by adding an unprecedented 180+ YS is unparalleled in the history of Skål International, as mentioned earlier too the Sun rises from the east and similarly Kolkata has shown the world how to lead the way, best wishes to this well-oiled team of Skål International Kolkata and shall support them 200% for their bid for 2024 Skål International World Congress, way to go,” reassured Mr. Sanjay Datta, the Immediate past-President of Skål International Asia.

Ms. Ritu Jolly - Skal International Kolkata Director Young Skal - ‘I am delighted with the launch of Young Skal and welcome all its members, who are the future of our industry. Through this platform, we strive to give them various opportunities for their learning and development. Not only will they be mentored by the stalwarts of the travel trade / hospitality / aviation industry but will also get various internship and placement opportunities to choose from’

Skål International Kolkata will work closely with the youth brigade, to make Skål International Kolkata’s overall work more responsible, sustainable and humane. Skål International Kolkata intends to involve the YSKs in serving the society at large so that they learn how to give back to the society while becoming thorough professionals. The latest state-of-the-art website of the Skål Kolkata is being made available for the YSK members as well and they will be able to look for job opportunities in the industry with a direct one-to-one approach.


27th April 2022, DAY 01 – HYATT REGENCY, KOLKATA
On the first day, April 27, 2022, the resurgence of the tourism celebration started with renowned dance performance group Sapphire captivating the audience. Then came the dramatic acrobats showcasing West Bengal’s cultural heritage from the district of Murshidabad, with their Raibenshe style. The Skål Kolkata Executive Committee members played host to the Skål India National Committee members, Presidents from clubs around India and all general members of Skål Kolkata itself as well as dignitaries from foreign consulates and all supporting sponsors. All the esteemed guests were present on the stage and they lauded Skål Kolkata for the excellent show being put together. Hyatt Regency was the Hospitality partner for this evening with excellent service and attention being provided to all the guests. The Academic Partner IIHM actively supported the event and inspired their students to be a part of this Young Skål great launch. The Celebration Partner – CHIVAS Music Cds also made the evening lightening and electrifying. The food, cocktails and mocktails were there to lift the mood in addition to the traditional Bengali colourful dress code to celebrate Bengali New Year, (Poila Boisakh). Creating the mood, the sponsors namely Oman Airlines, Fly Dubai, Spicejet, Vistara and Air Asia along with other Travel Packages sponsors namely Shangri-la Hotels & Resorts, Sun International, South Africa 360, Europamundo, Parvada Bungalows, Naad Wellness, Footprint went for lucky draw for the Skål members with vouchers for the winners got vouchers. Sister Nivedita University, IIHM, NSHM, IAM, The Neotia University, GNIHM, IHM Kolkata were few of the educational institutions who participated in the two-day festival. The outdoor partner Sampark Advertisng created awareness of this event in the city. There were loads of gifts for the lucky winners for the members & guests.


28th April 2022, DAY 02 – NOVOTEL HOTEL & RESIDENCE, KOLKATA
The grand finale began on day two with the grand launch of the world's largest chapter of Young Skål.. The day, April 28, is also World Skål Day, adding the significance that this was indeed the best day to host such a magnificent event. Amidst extreme fanfare, Skål International Kolkata launched the biggest chapter of Young Skål in the world supported by a host of sponsors. After the welcome address, Ms Sayanee Chavda, the famous Indian classical Kathak danseuse enthralled the audience with her troupe. Eminent dignitaries addressed the audiences at this grand launch. The Murshidabad Raibenshe group gave a jaw-dropping performance, especially to entertain the Young Skålleagues. Just before an interactive destination quiz over gifts by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi office, an electric performance of a show-stopping sustainable fashion show was presented by the award winning ESEDS School of Design in association with Earth Day Network India where Young Skål members participated as lead models. There were welcome gifts for every YSK on behalf of Skål Kolkata senior mentors. The event was attended by 250+ guests and media including 175+ Young Skål brigade who are about to enter the tourism & hospitality industry. Skål India leadership led by National President Carl Vaz and leaders from all over India were present to encourage them. Skål International World President Burcin Turkkan joined via zoom from Spain. The Young Skål Kolkata members elected their own YSK President, YSK Secretary, YSK Treasurer, YSK Directors of Sponsorship, PR & Communications, Membership Development & CSR and were applauded with loud cheers when the results were announced. Respective seniors of the Skål Kolkata Executive Committee pinned them with Young Skål badges. A 10-point agenda detailing the way forward for Young Skål Kolkata was presented.

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