กรกฎาคม 24, 2024

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Revealing The Perspectives Of Two New Executives Of The World’s Oldest Tourism Association With A Branch In Thailand, SKAL International Thailand, With Their New Roles That Challenge The Thai Tourism Industry

Revealing the perspectives of two new executives of the world’s oldest tourism association with a branch in Thailand, SKAL International Thailand, with their new roles that challenge the Thai tourism industry.

Talking about SKAL International Thailand, most people may not know it yet. But in the circle of tourism and hotel business leaders, SKAL is the largest and oldest international tourism business leaders association in the world. Founded in 1934 in France, it currently has its headquarters in Spain. SKAL was formed by leading tourism business leaders to create networks and promote tourism in various countries with fellow members. Currently, there are 12,007 members in the tourism industry worldwide in 306 clubs in 82 countries, including Thailand.

In Thailand, there are 6 SKAL clubs in total: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Samui, Krabi and Hua Hin. Mr. James Thurlby is the President of SKAL International Thailand and Mr. Kanokros (Sakdanres) Wongwekin is the President of SKAL International Bangkok. Today we have had the opportunity to talk with 2 leaders who are new generations about their perspectives and visions in driving Thai tourism businesses, including building good relationships between tourism business leaders and SKAL members in Thailand.


James Thurlby, President of the International Skal Association of

If you know him, you will not be surprised that he stepped up to the position of President of the International Skal Association of Thailand at the age of 44 because he has been in the world-class tourism business for more than half of his life. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in hotel management and started working with “Thomas Cook”, a world-famous British tourism company. Before moving to Thailand, he worked at Norwich Airport in England. Currently, Mr. James is an executive at Move Ahead Media, a digital marketing company whose clients are mostly in the tourism and hotel industries.

James started working for SKAL International Association of Bangkok as Digital Marketing Director 4 years ago and was elected by the association members as the President of SKAL International Association of Bangkok 2 years later. Currently, James is the youngest President of SKAL International Association of Thailand. When asked what made him elected as the President of SKAL International Association of Thailand, James smiled and replied, “What made me elected was my vision that SKAL is the oldest organization in the world. It’s time for a change. I want SKAL Thailand to be a more modern organization.”

Mr. James’s responsibility is to manage all 6 SKAL clubs in Thailand, namely Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Samui, Krabi and Hua Hin, supporting the activities of each club president to run smoothly, as well as managing the organization to be modern and grow sustainably.

When asked how Mr. James plans to drive the tourism business, he said, “What I can do as SKal Thailand is to bring people in the tourism industry together to exchange work experiences, get to know each other, become friends, and do business together. We support the activities of the SKal Bangkok Association President and other clubs in organizing activities for members to meet more.”

The Thailand Skal Association is not only a gathering of national tourism industry leaders to exchange experiences to further develop the tourism business, but it is also an organization that takes into account society and the environment and operates under the policy of driving the tourism business to grow sustainably. “Our association received the Sustainable Tourism Award because we have activities that support sustainable tourism for the public, the whole country, and the whole world. This shows that we are doing something for the public.”

A new challenge for Kanokros (Sakdanares) Wongwekin, President of SKAL International Association of Bangkok, who is the first female

president of SKAL Thailand. Despite having been in the hotel PR industry for almost 30 years, the position of President of SKAL International Association of Bangkok is a new challenge for Aom Kanokros (Sakdanares) Wongwekin, who must prove her skills to be accepted at another level. Aom talked about the beginning of her collaboration with SKAL, “At that time, James was looking for someone to join his EXCOM team or executive committee. Aom’s friend recommended that I have long experience in managing international hotels and have a reputation for PR and marketing. So James chose me to join the team. When James was elected President of SKAL International Association of Bangkok, I was elected as the Director of Public Relations 2 years ago.”

With her long experience in managing public relations departments of international hotels, starting from

Seoul Twin Towers (a Spanish chain at that time), Amari Watergate Hotel, Amari Atrium, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel Bangkok, and Centara Hotels & Resorts, as well as being the youngest president of the Hotel Public Relations Association, coupled with her dedication to working for the association without expecting anything in return, Ms. Aom was elected as the president of the International Skal Association of Bangkok.

“Aom said that he must have seen Aom’s vision and achievements in public relations. Before that, the Skaal Association did not focus much on public relations. But when Aom came in, she was able to make the association more well-known, and was featured in many newspapers and media. The association’s board, led by Mr. James, supported Aom to become the association president.”

During the 2 years that Aom has been the PR Director of the association, she has made the association well-known in the Thai tourism industry. She is responsible for public relations, inviting important people and celebrities to join the association’s events and various charity events. “Because I have worked in hotel PR for almost 30 years, I have been able to invite friends in the tourism and hotel industry to join the event and support the association’s charity events. Most recently, we donated the income from charity events to the Sri Chumphaban Foundation, Meechai Viravaidya Foundation, and Bangkok Community Help Foundation. This is the 3 foundations that SKAL International Bangkok has supported this year.”

A work that Aom is most proud of is inviting famous speakers from the country to give lectures to the association members in the association’s activities, namely Mr. Korn Chatikavanij, former Minister of Finance, and Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, which was successful and well-liked by the members.

But what is even more proud is that Aom is the first Thai woman to receive the position of President of the International Skal Association of Bangkok in 30 years. She was nominated without any competitors and was unanimously voted by the association members to receive this honorable position. “I feel very proud to be the first woman to be elected as the president of the association. I am a marketer and a PR person. Whenever there is something that stands out, I will show.

It can be used to further develop the mission to make the association more important and help society even more.”
When asked how she will use this opportunity to further develop the association, “Aom will create an XCOM team or executive board with a vice president of women leaders who will develop more women executives in the tourism and business industries. Aom will set a goal to drive and organize activities that will increase the number of women executives in Thailand.”

It seems that the SKAL International Association of Bangkok, with a female leader like Aom Kanokros, will drive more intensively in the next 2 years, both in terms of raising the organization to international standards, promoting women to have a role in management and driving the tourism business both at the organizational and national levels, along with organizing various activities to provide Thai tourism business leaders with business opportunities, including expanding the member base, inviting leaders in the tourism industry to join SKAL as much as possible.

“Aom would like to invite those who are looking for friends in the tourism industry to join the Bangkok International Society. What members will benefit from is joining the events that the association organizes every month. They will get to meet people in the tourism and hotel industry, get to know each other, become friends, and do business together, which is a good opportunity to expand their own business in the future.”

Interested in joining the event of Skal International Association of Bangkok? Send an email to email: events@skalbangkok.com For more information on membership, please contact memberships@skalbangkok.com or visit the website at www.skalbangkok.com and www.skal.org

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