2008-05-29

Skal World Congress 2008 in October, Taipei

FRIENDSHIP & PEACE
through TOURISM

Global Tourism Leaders Choose Taiwan for

Skal World Congress 2008 in October

A thousand of the world’s top tourism professionals will converge on Taipei in October this year for the 69th World Congress of Skal International. While here
they will learn about Taiwan’s tourism attractions, network with each other, establish business contacts, attend business-to-business sessions and tourism workshops, and generally enjoy a good time with old friends and new.

Skal International is the world’s biggest association of tourism and
travel professionals that covers all sectors of the tourism industry, with over 20,000 members of around 500 clubs in 90 different countries. Membership is open to managers and executives who are directly involved in management, sales, and promotion in specified tourism businesses including hotels, travel agencies, airlines, government tourist offices, professional congress organizers, travel media, cruise lines, and car rental firms, among others. In Taiwan there are three clubs: Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. Plans are under way for a fourth club in Hualien on the island’s east coast.

The theme of this year’s World Congress, which will be held at the Taipei International Convention Center on Oct. 12-17, will be “Friendship and Peace through Tourism.” Taipei began campaigning for the right to host the event back in 2003, and won the bid at the 65th World Congress in Durban, South Africa, in 2004. The initial idea for Taipei to seek the congress came from Skal International Honorary President Salvador Buendia, who passed through Taipei on his way to the Skal World Congress in Cairns, Australia, and was so impressed with the city that he urged local Skal members to bid.


The first Skal Club was founded by travel agents from Paris, who participated together in a trip to Scandinavia in 1932 and enjoyed it so much that they decided to continue meeting on a regular basis after they returned home. Their association began to branch out and sprout other chapters, and Skal went international in 1934.

Skal International Taipei was founded as the first Skal Club in Taiwan in 1970 and now has about 70 members. It is currently headed by President Pauline Leung, CEO of Compass Public Relations and Taiwan representative of the Macau Government Tourist Office (as well as chairman of the organizing committee of the World Congress). Among its members the club counts Madam Janice Seh-Jen Lai, director general of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.


The success of the 69th World Congress of Skal International is being assured by generous support from such sponsors as the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Taiwan Visitors Association, Commerce Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taipei City Government, China Airlines, EVA Airways, Grand Hyatt Taipei, Sheraton Taipei, Grand Hotel Taipei, Howard Plaza Taipei and National Taiwan College of Performing Arts.


Mr. Jim Power, Secretary General of Skal International, was very impressed by the
press conference that Skal International Taipei organized on May 27th at the Tourism Bureau's Travel Information Service Center. "This is so far the best press conference we have ever had," he said. Mr. Steven Kuo Su, Duputy Director General of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, said "We will do our best to support Skal and make this 69th World Congress a most successful and memorable one for Skalleagues from all over the world."

Mr. Kuo Su was a Skalleague some time ago, and he offered his full support: "Even if you need me to some legwork during the World Congress, I will be more than willing to do it for you!" He also promised to become a member of Skal once again.

Pauline Leung, President of Skal Iuternational Taipei, asked the media representatives to help make this Skal World Congress a truly meaningful one.
"Taiwan may not be so well-known to the whole world, especailly people in Europe or Latin America; but through Skal, through this World Congress, we will have travel professionals coming from 90 different countries to stay in Taipei 6 days and 5 nights. They will also have a chance to take pre and post tours to get to know Taiwan; and after this World Congress in Taipei, they will all become super sales promoters for Taiwan as a tourist destination."

Edward Lo, President of Skal International Taiwan, men
tioned the "long history" of Skal Taipei's campaign for the right to host the World Congress Taiwan." 'Friendship and Peace through tourism'" is our theme," he commented, "and we Skalleagues like to make friends and make good business among friends."

Skal Asia President Earl Wieman commented, in fluent Mandarin, that "Hosting the Skal World Congress in Taipei will make Taipei known to the whole world and let Skalleagues discover that here we have the most delicious Chinese cuisine, the most beautiful landscapes, fine international class hotels and hot spring resorts--and more than this, real TOUCH YOUR HEART hospitality!" Earl was wearing the Skal 2008 "uniform" along with Carol Huang, Assistant to the Skal Taipei Secretary, a shining blue silk jacket with a colorful floral design of Taiwan's Hakka ethnic group. All members of the Skal Taipei HOC Committee will wear this creative jacket during the Congress for easy identification.


A special focus for the camera lenses were four students from the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, all dressed up in Chinese opera costume and with fantastic painted faces. They delighted the press conference participants by posing with them for memorable photographs that presage an unforgettable Skal International World Congress in Taipei.

Taiwan Touch Your Heart http://taiwan.net.tw/
Skål International Official Site 
http://www.skal.org/
Skål World Congress 2008  
http://www.skaltaipei.org.tw/

2008-05-01

EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland

All Eyes Are On The BALL!

The 2008 UEFA European Football (Soccer) Championship, commonly referred to as the Euro 2008, will be hosted by Austria and Switzerland this year from June 7 to 29. Euro 2008 is going to be the third largest sports event worldwide this year, and the second successful joint bid in the competition's history, following the UEFA Euro 2000, hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. The 2012 competition in Poland and Ukraine is scheduled to become the third jointly-hosted tournament.

For Austria, it will be the first major soccer event the country has ever hosted.

Austrian National Tourist Office made a big promotion in Taipei in earlier March this year to introduce EURO 2008 to the Taiwanese soccer fans.


For Switzerland, only the second one since the World Championship in 1954, when Germany became the soccer world champion.

Not surprisingly the matches are keenly anticipated in both countries.

16 European football nations will compete for the title. The teams include the two host countries Austria and Switzerland, and Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.

The motto for the 2008 soccer tournament is 'Expect Emotions'!

And one can only hope that the competing teams live up that motto and give the world a wild ride to the end. The slogan is to sum up everything the tournament hopes to represent, describing in a nutshell what the Euro 2008 has to offer: joy, disappointment, relief or high tension – right up to the final whistle.

There will be plenty for supporters to get worked up about. More than a million of them will make their way to the stadiums to watch the 31 matches and see European football at its best from close quarters. In addition, millions more will join in on the streets at official free fan festivals organized by the eight host cities. Furthermore, more than eight billion will watch the action on television. It's hard to imagine anything more colourful, festive and exciting. UEFA EURO 2008™ is pure emotion.
Besides, the finals will be an experience not to be missed, not least because great importance will be placed on hospitality, a unique mix of service-mindedness and friendliness, seasoned with a good pinch of humour.

It is believed that Euro 2008 will be one of the biggest football festivals in the world ever, not only in Austria and Switzerland, where the matches are held, but also across the world where many of the matches will be televised, so also in Taiwan, where many restaurants and bars show the games.

The colourful, traditional town houses on the Maria-Theresien Street have a very different sheen as expectation rises ahead of the June finals. Garlands with colourful footballs stretch from one side of the street to the other while numerous flags have been hoisted up so residents and visitors to the city alike can get in the mood for the football festival that awaits. Innsbruck will host three Group D games, starting with the meeting between Spain and Russia on 10 June.

The Swiss Sports Museum's Football Memories project is taking a new look at the nation's footballing heritage in the run up to co-hosting UEFA EURO 2008™. Switzerland won the silver medal in the 1924 Olympic football tournament, losing 3-0 to Uruguay in the final in Paris. Given that there was no equivalent European tournament at the time, just reaching the final gave them the right to call themselves European champions. The new Sports Museum project has revived memories of that past achievement and is encouraging Swiss citizens to contribute memories and memorabilia to a new celebration of Swiss football. Soccer fans all have their own personal football memories and objects which are all worthy of being exhibited, more than 120 pieces of football memorabilia have already found their way to the exhibition website, including an original shirt worn by Ernst Hufschmid in Switzerland's first FIFA World Cup finals appearance in Italy in 1934.
The official matchball for UEFA EURO2008™ has been unveiled by adidas. EUROPASS is the latest in a long line of instant classic adidas match balls with the UEFA EURO 2008 official sponsor having exclusively supplied balls for the European Championship since 1980. ClassicThe classic colouring - a white base colour with black dots - recalls the balls of yesteryear, but round dynamic elements in silver and red results in a very modern design which perfectly suits the host countries. The national flags of both countries have also been integrated into the ball design, with eight circles in a subtle silver effect.
The ball is constructed out of 14 panels using revolutionary thermal bondingtechnology. This combined with the new PSC-Texture surface structure gives the "EUROPASS" its perfect handling characteristics and allows the players exceptional ball control. The outer dimpled - PSC texture - surface provides optimum grip and improves power transmission, creates greater swerve and increases accuracy on the pitch, in all weather conditions.



ANTO & TOSI JOINT PROMOTION in Taipei on June 7, 2008

In Taipei, the Austrian Tourism Office and the Trade Office of Swiss Industries (TOSI) will commonly organize some events around the ball to be held in June.

On Saturday June 7, "Children Soccer Tournament" will take place at the Taipei European School (TES) on its Tien Mu premises. This will be an open air event for the whole family, where traditional Austrian and Swiss food and beverages will be offered. To make it even more fun for kids and adults alike, side attractions such as a human football table, a goal board, a bouncy castle, face painting, a prize draw and others will be organized, too.

Austrian National Tourist Office: http://www.austria.info/
Trade Office of Swiss Industries: http://www.swiss.org.tw/
Swiss National Tourist Office: http://www.myswitzerland.com.tw/

For more details on EURO2008 in Austria and Switzerland, can be found on
http://www.euro2008.com/
http://www.uefa.com/