Skål is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry’s managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest.
I am currently a member of The Pretoria Skål club in South Africa, after being transferred from the Midlands Skål club where I valued the encouragement and amicable from the various members. The international friendship and close personal contact of Skål must be experienced to be appreciated.
Skål is all about “Doing Business among friends”. Skål is not a community organisation like Rotary or Lions; rather it benefits and develops the professional sector, while assisting the community at large. Skål is an Association of Tourism Professionals, which encourages and creates a network of professionals around the world. It promotes seminars and conferences to strengthen the industry’s professionalism.
Through participation in local activities and events at all levels, members meet industry colleagues from around the world. Here, in an atmosphere of amicale, ideas, opportunities and industry matters, in general, may be shared on a personal and business level.
Travel managers, following an educational tour of Scandinavia, founded the first Club in 1932 in Paris. The idea of international goodwill and friendship grew and, in 1934, the “Association Internationale des Skål Clubs” was formed with Florimond Volckaert as its first President, who is considered the “Father of Skål”.
Skål International today has members in over 500 Clubs throughout 90 nations. Most activities occur at local level, moving up through National Committees, under the umbrella of Skål International, headquartered at the General Secretariat in Torremolinos, Spain.
Membership of Skål is open to managers or executives directly involved in tourism management, sales and promotions, in specified travel and tourism businesses, including: transportation (airlines, cruise lines, railways, ferries), travel and tour operators and agencies, tourism organisations, governments and non-government tourism councils, hotels, convention centres, travel media; etc.
Young Skål is open to junior executives and tourism students entering the industry. This is a way for us to welcome these young persons into the world of Skål International and make them familiar with it’s values, friendship, peace, solidarity and promoting common, local and international interests in the tourism industry, thus ensuring that once a managerial position is reached, the young skålleague will continue to support the movement strongly, its ideals and principle and being a leader, to proactively transform the environment in which he/she lives.