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42nd Skal Asia Congress in Negombo, Sri Lanka

42nd Skal Asia Congress in Negombo, Sri Lanka ( NEGOMBO, Sri Lanka - The 42nd Skal Asia Congress was successfully held in Negombo, Sri Lanka from May 30–June 2, 2013 with about 100 international delegates and local members and VIPs, including Mok Singh, Skal International President; Bernhard Wegscheider, Secretary General of Skal International; Hon. Faiser Mustapha, the Sri Lankan Deputy Minister for Investment Promotion;
Hon. Nimal Lanza, the Minister for Tourism in the Western Provincial Council; Mr. Claude Thomasz, the Chairman Western Province Tourist Board; Dr. D. S. Jayaweera, Director General of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority; and Vipula Wanigasekera, General Manager of Sri Lanka Convention Bureau.

Various cultural and traditional events and shows in dance form depicting the different traditions and regions of the country showcased the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka, the Wonder of Asia, and further helped as a catalyst in boosting tourist traffic into Sri Lanka.

Main sponsors were the Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau, Western Province Tourist Board, Srilankan Airlines, Jetwing Hotels&Events, among other corporate sponsors.

Skal Club of Colombo was formed on June 11, 1954 and has hosted two Asian Congresses, the 15th Asian Congress (September 1986), and the 23rd Asian Congress (September 1994), as well as the 51st World Congress in October 1990. In 2014, Skal Club of Colombo will celebrate its 60th anniversary.

At the Skal General Assembly on June 1, Marco Giovanni Battistotti, Penang, Malaysia, was elected President, Skal International Asia, for a term of two years, 2013 – 2015, along with a new board of officers and auditors:

Asian Area Board, 2013 ‐ 2015

- President, Marco G. Battistotti, Penang, Malaysia
- Vice President East Asia&Responsible PR&Marketing, Robert Sohn, Seoul, Korea
- Vice President Southeast Asia, Alistair G. Speirs, Jakarta, Indonesia
- Vice President West Asia, Jason Samuel, Bombay, India
- Secretary&Treasurer, Malcolm Scott, Bali, Indonesia
- Director of Membership Development, Blandine Cressard, Hong Kong
- Director of Young SKÅL&Scholarship, P. Saravanan, Chennai, India
- International Councillor&Immediate Past President, Gerry Perez Guam

Asian Area Auditors

- Patria Chiong, Auditor, Manila, Philippines
- Keethi Jayaweera, Auditor, Colombo, Sri Lanka

“To become the 18th President in over half a century of Asian Area existence and constant presence and development throughout this great continent, certainly is, for me, an honor and indeed is an opportunity to serve for the next term this great Skal Asia family to the best of my ability," said elected Asia President Marco Battistotti.

There was a ceremony of planting a tree at the beach of Jetwing Blue Hotel under a rule of at least one tree per conference.

Skal is a professional organization of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industryʹs general managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest in tourism worldwide. Skal International, founded in Paris, France in 1934, with headquarters in Torremolinos, Malaga, Spain, is the only worldwide association of tourism and travel professionals covering all sectors of the tourism industry, with 18,000 members, in 418 locations in 87 countries. ʺSkalʺ is a Scandinavian word meaning ʺhappiness,ʺ ʺlong life,ʺ ʺgood health,ʺ and ʺfriendship.ʺ

The newly-elected Asia President, Marco Giovanni Battistotti, is an experienced hotelier, currently covering the position of Group Director of Operations for Malaysia’s most established and successful Integrated City Resort, Sunway Resort Hotel&Spa. He has been active in Skal International for many years, first as a Penang Member then as Director of Young Skal&Scholarship for Asia Area and more recently as Vice President for Southeast Asia. Mr. Battistotti sits on the Boards of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, the Penang State Tourism Agency (PGT), and he is an Executive Committee Member of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce&Industry.

PHOTO: Tree planting by Mok Singh, President for Skal International

MEDIA CONTACT: Adele Kim, Executive Director, Promac Partnership (Korea), T: +82 2 6351 5155, e: ; Robert Sohn, Vice President East Asia & Resp. PR & Marketing, Skal International Asia (c/o Promac Partnership), T: +82 2 6324 2878, e:

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