Ambassador for Nice and its region
Retired and at the head of Skål, an association bringing together travel and tourism professionals on the Côte d’Azur,Nicolle Martin continues to promote Nice as a destination.
@DR Objectif de Skål, créer du lien entre les hôteliers, restaurateurs, fournisseurs et prestataires du tourisme pour booster leurs activités.
Industrial Enterprise Award
After 45 years at the Nice Tourist Office, she found the opportunity to continue working in this sector, this time voluntarily. “I have always been in charge of B2B. I was the interface with tour operators, coach operators, travel agencies, and tourism professionals in Nice and the metropolitan area. I promoted the destination internationally. It’s a job I loved, and the idea of stopping appalled me. When offered the opportunity to take over the presidency of Skål Côte d’Azur, I gladly accepted,” Nicolle Martin enthuses. The association was down to nine members when she arrived in 2018, and this enthusiast mobilised her entire network to get things moving. “In just a few years, we became the world’s second-largest network of tourism professionals.” The idea is to do business among friends through member and non-member meetings or cocktail parties on current issues. Allowing hoteliers, restaurateurs, suppliers and tourism service providers to stay informed and not be isolated. The structure welcomed 42 new members during the COVID-19 crisis. Nicolle Martin adds: “I started using social networks four years ago. We now have 12,000 followers.”
Towards more targeted tourism
‘Skålleagues’ stories are posted online whenever they work together. The association also posts job vacancies and applications: “There is a terrible shortage of employees since the pandemic. The President of Skål Côte d›Azur has seen tourism evolve over the years. “We were canvassing travel agencies in cities at the beginning whereas, with the advances made possible by NITC, central buying offices now do everything.” She adds: “The sector has seen a 55% increase in February 2023 compared to 2019. And the trend is moving from mass to elite tourism. Certain habits have become established and need to be maintained: not making untimely trips for a business meeting when it can be done by video, for example. The people may change, but tourism remains a fundamental trend.
Skål Côte d’Azur
Skål is an “old lady” born in Paris in 1934, following a study tour of French travel agents in Sweden, and is now present in some 100 countries with more than 12,000 members. Côte d’Azur members include Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, the Regional Tourist Committee, Relais & Châteaux, and hotels in all categories. There are local and gourmet restaurants, travel agencies and event organisers. The association organises immersion days for young students who are part of Young Skål, which can lead to jobs. Since the pandemic, the sector has seen new jobs, and many hotel and restaurant owners are also retraining.
Création : 1933
Localisation : Cagnes-sur-Mer
Activité : Tourisme
Présidente : Nicolle Martin
Effectifs : 200 membres