With an aim to celebrate women leaders of the Indian travel industry, SKAL International Bombay (144) recently organized an event at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai. Apart from women members of the SKAL International Bombay (144) chapter, there were few women dignitaries invited from the consultants and tourism board too. With a total of about 50 members, the event not just proved to be a welcome change from the current virtual meeting world but also acted as a conversation starter for women’s growth stories, struggles and success in the industry.
During the welcome note, Sushil Bhatt, President, SKAL International Bombay (144) mentioned a few of the leading women of SKAL International globally and how they set an example of success and leadership for the entire association.
Taking it further, Carl Vaz, President, SKAL International India said, “Women of India are now equally responsible for the growth of our great nation. While many of the SKAL clubs across India don’t have good participation from women in travel, it’s good to see that Bombay (144) chapter’s one-third of membership consists of women members. We intend to have such participation for all our 15 chapters (the 15th chapter is being launched by end of March in Bhubaneshwar). I encourage every member to spread the word and get more women leaders in travel to become a member of SKAL International.”
Talking about her growth story as a woman, Stefania Constanza, Consul General, Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai said, “Never believe anyone who tells you that you don’t deserve what you want. I’m thankful to my father who believed in me and gave me a choice to choose what I wanted to become. So, we all get choices but we should aim at choosing who we are and not what the world wants of us. This is, after all, a matter of freedom that we all want as humans. And yes, as women, we need to acknowledge and empower each other.”
Speaking about how women are leading the US business industry and even the tourism sector, Brenda Van Horn, Principal Commercial Officer, US Department of Commerce said, “Yes, it’s a man’s world but we don’t have to live by their rules, do we? As women, one of our greatest strengths is our collaboration. We have to look out for each other, empower, encourage and support each other.”
Talking on the occasion, Khun Cholada Siddhivarn, Director – Mumbai, Tourism Authority of Thailand, said, “There is no limit to what we as women can achieve and accomplish, all we have to do is just give it a try. And never give up trying. In the end, you are not obligated to win. You are obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.”
Zakia Wardak, Consul General, Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan said, “It’s time we acknowledge the contribution of women to the global economy and growth. This event has proved to be an excellent platform to recognize the women leaders in the tourism sector. I would also like to speak about women from Afghanistan who today have the privileges of quality life, education, and choice which she was earlier deprived of. Today we have women workforces in every sector of our economy and we are proud of this growth and success.”