Europe's Voice of Tourism

A very diplomatic statement from President Bill Rheaume


Dear Skålleagues,

There have been several opinions and perspectives shared recently on the proposed changes to Skål’s Governance Structure. I would like to clarify my position on this issue, as the Immediate Past President.

Members have been very vocal over the past years about the need for change, and I think the challenges we faced during the COVID years added a sense of urgency to the exercise. The active process was introduced in 2021 with 2022 ushering in a diverse and representative Governance Committee charged with the task of identifying a new model for the future.

This was no small task, especially with the number of countries, as well as the diverse cultures, traditions, and processes that exist in our organization. I have the utmost respect for the members of the Governance Committee, and the time and effort devoted to this challenging task, and I offer my sincere congratulations on the accomplishments to date.

As the information on the proposed structure was released, it has become increasingly clear that the acceptance and support for the changes is not as universal as expected. I understand that certain aspects and implementation schedules of the new model do not have a unanimous agreement amongst the EC and the Governance Committee.

I further understand that there are countries and regions that have expressed concerns regarding the details of the proposal as well as the timing for approval.

Change is difficult to achieve for an organization like Skål and not always popular. I have to say that I fully support the need for change to Skål’s Governance Model and the Committee’s work identified the key factors.

It appears more work may be necessary to address the points of concern and arrive at a structure that is acceptable to most members.

You are being asked to vote on July 9th to approve the proposed model and required statute amendments. The question is whether you believe the changes are important enough for the future of Skål to approve now and then continue to work through the areas of concern.

As an organization, it will be difficult to move forward if a substantial number of members are not behind the Governance Structure proposal.


Bill Rheaume
2021 International President