Skål International New Orleans

Doing business among friends

View All News

4th Annual Skål International New Orleans Industry Update Draws Record Crowd

May 1 2018 | News



4th Annual Skål International New Orleans Industry Update Draws Record Crowd


New Orleans, Louisiana – Almost 300 New Orleans hospitality professionals gathered to hear updates from several industry leaders including the Airport Director who spoke about the nearly $1 billion new airport terminal scheduled to open in early 2019.  The event was opened by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, who is in charge of the State’s tourism marketing efforts, revealing a new campaign for the State using “Feed Your Soul”. 


The nearly sold out Industry Update, organized by the Skål International New Orleans, has become an industry mainstay attracting the executive leadership of the hospitality industry in New Orleans from every aspect. Not from the hospitality industry, speaker Greg Rusovich lauded the audience for how critical the travel and tourism industry is to the New Orleans economy and urged the crowd to always be on the offensive to defend the travel and tourism industry as “the real economic engine it is by supplying over 40% of the City’s general fund”.  Mr. Rusovich is the CEO of Transoceanic Development which supplies global solutions for specialized logistic in the marine industry around the globe, headquartered in New Orleans.


The setting was the National WWII Museum, whose President/CEO Stephen Watson, a member of Skål International New Orleans, welcomed the crowd and announced that the museum had a record attendance in 2017 and was rated second best museum in the world by TripAdvisor.  The museum will open a hotel in 2019 and just began construction on a $14 million “Bollinger Canopy of Peace” that will cover the museums 6-acre campus.


“This annual Industry Update is our marque event and best illustrates the role Skål International New Orleans plays for our destination by bringing travel and tourism executives together to network and learn from each other in the true spirit of Skål”: said Michael Fridge, Skål International New Orleans President. The New Orleans organization was formed in 1950 and has always counted the most influential leaders as its members helping to develop New Orleans into the world class destination it is today.


Other speakers included Justin Augustine, CEO New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, Kevin Dolliole, Director of Aviation,


The event was closed with a brief address by Stephen Perry, President/CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau who asserted that the travel and tourism

industry of New Orleans has become the most powerful voice of economic development in the State of Louisiana.  He credited the dedication, hard work and sacrifices of the audience for that advantage and by drawing record visitors to New Orleans in for the past several years.





(Click Here for Hi-Res Image)


From Left to Right:  Michael Fridge, Skål International New Orleans President, Stephen Perry, President/CEO New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and Stephen Watson, President/CEO of the National WWII Museum.


(Click Here for Hi-Res Image)


Nearly sold-out crowd at the National WWII Museum being addressed by Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser for the Skål International New Orleans Annual Industry Update.


(Click Here for Hi-Res Image)


Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser addressing nearly sold-out crowd at the WWII Museum for the Skål International New Orleans Annual Industry Update.


About Skål International New Orleans


Skål International New Orleans (SINO) was founded in 1950 to serving as the forum of choice for senior level executives of the travel and tourism industry where they are able to interact with peers and foster the local travel and tourism industry.  SINO is an affiliate of Skål International which has 20,000 members worldwide, the only international organization uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry.