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SKAL International–USA Picks Four Issues To Champion

April 8, 2017 Association No Comments Email Email

Holly Powers, President, Skal International–USA, has announced that the organization has picked four issues to champion for 2017 after its Executive Committee adopted recommendations from its Advocacy Committee.

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This is the first time Skal International–USA, the national chapter of Skal International, an organization of worldwide tourism leaders, has determined to more actively focus on tourism policies which affect the industry.

“A broadly based committee of our members looked at issues and policy activities through which Skal International–USA can make a position contribution to the growth and success of the hospitality industry.  These four issues represent ones that are vitally significant by that criteria,” said Powers.  “We believe that the Skal Clubs in the United States can be part of this story by working with travel industry organizations, including several led by some of our members, to deliver on these matters which address the use of vacation time, support our national parks, invest in transportation infrastructure, and maintain the freedom to travel.”

Specifically, Skal International–USA has identified the following four issues for its 2017 agenda:

1.  Project: Time Off.  In conjunction with the U. S. Travel Association, Skal Clubs in the United States will distribute information and raise the visibility of why Americans should use their vacation time.  The amount of unused vacation time because people lose it by working instead, much of it permanently lost to the non-using employee, contributes to stress, less family time, and even physical health issues.  Encouraging American people to  enjoy the time they earn, even if it is not all for travel, will be a positive development for the health of both the American people and the American economy.

2.  Public-private partnerships authorized by the National Parks Centennial Act of 2016.  Congress has authorized the National Parks Foundation to receive private sector funds to match a government appropriation.  At this point, the travel sector has not stepped up to the level of support it could generate.  Skal International–USA will bring this opportunity to the attention of its clubs, members, and friends within the industry to supplement programs and services with the National Parks Service.

3.  Trillion dollar transportation investment proposal.  It is clear that United States airports, intermodal connectivity from airports to downtown areas, highways, bridges, and tunnels are behind other nations in their modernization, repair, and maintenance, due to years of inadequate funding.  The Trump Administration is discussing making a trillion dollar investment in transportation infrastructure.  House Transportation Committee leaders want to move on this initiative in 2017 and the U. S. Travel Association lists this as one of its top priorities. Skal International–USA will be on the front lines of this issue.

4.  Freedom to travel with security.  The top issue facing travel to and from the United States is simply freedom to travel, so that the maximum number of people who want to have the life experiences travel offers will have the opportunity to do so.  Skal International–USA wants to give people everywhere the pleasure to enjoy the hospitality of America, providing they meet reasonable security standards and can use a process in which security is a given, but is also easy to use and an expedited process, and insure that Americans have the same ability to travel worldwide.

“We know that Skal can bring additional voices and engagement on these matters after visiting with key organizations who are traditional travel sector leaders,” said Powers.  “Starting in 2017, we intend to be part of the national discussion on how to improve our vital industry.”

SKAL International USA is currently the largest National Committee in Skal International with 2,000 members and 48 clubs nationwide.  For more information on SKAL International and SKAL USA, and to find out more about membership, go to www.skalusa.org.

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