Skål International Bombay gets U.S. visa insights with Destination USA training


Members of Skål International Bombay attended a private session at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, with the support of U.S. Commercial Services India. The programme and venue was powered by support from Global Destinations representing ATP DMC from the USA and State of Utah, represented by Aviareps India. The objective of the session was two-fold; to provide members with insightful professional knowledge and to enhance relationships within this important Consulate in Mumbai. This remains an important mission for the Club, in line with Skål International’s vision to become a trusted voice in the tourism industry.

The afternoon educational programme for 80 members was opened with a personal address by Brenda VanHorn, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate Mumbai. Brenda directs the Commercial Service teams in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, assisting American businesses with market access, information and advocacy. As incoming officer to this role and relating her first few weeks in the country, Brenda was well received by the Skål team. She highlighted the importance of India to the USA, as an inbound tourism market and reaffirmed her team’s support to this vital mission. She also stressed the vastness of the U.S., which offers many experiences for Indians to sample beyond the East and West coasts, which are very popular from here.

The session continued with a presentation by Joe Fernandes, GM – India, Aviareps who showcased Utah as a hot new destination for the Indian market. From skiing, culture, history to adventure, food and beverage available in both summer and winter, Utah seemed to have it all – including a Michelin starred 200 km highway. Pruthvi Khetani, COO of Global Destinations, presented ATP DMC’s expertise of over 60 years, in multi-lingual escorted coach programmes, customised group experiences and a comprehensive list of FIT leisure products.

David Willey, Visa Officer, U.S. Consulate Mumbai then shared a detailed overview of the B1 and B2 non-immigrant visitor visa programmes on offer. This session gave attending Skålleagues valuable information and insights to enhance their work with this Consulate; and David was kind enough to spend quality time with members, addressing their queries one on one.

The afternoon also saw Sushil Bhatt, President of Skål International Bombay (144), presenting the Club Flag as a token of friendship, to the U.S. officers, Brenda VanHorn and David Willey.