The first Skål Club was established in Paris in 1932. It began with an invitation from several transport companies to a group of Parisian Travel Agents to present a new aircraft destined for the Amsterdam-Copenhagen-Malmo flight.
The idea of International friendship between Tourism Professionals grew, and by early 1934 there were 12 Clubs formed in five countries. It was then that the idea arose to create a partnership that brings together all the Clubs, to foster goodwill and friendship in the Travel and Transport sectors around the World.
The ‘Association Internationale des Skål Clubs’ (AISC) was established on April 28th, 1934, at the Hotel Scribe in Paris, in a General Assembly composed of 21 delegates, representatives of 11 clubs, plus two observers from London, who together elected the Executive Committee, under the chairmanship of Florimond Volckaert.
Since then, April 28th has been celebrated around the globe as World Skål Day. Today, Skål is present in over 100 countries with over 335 clubs and almost 13,000 members.
“Our founding fathers had a vision of a strong, connected tourism industry built on friendship to promote travel amongst member countries. This was the basic value of Skål, the ties that bind us together, AND they are as important today as they were in our infancy.” Said Bill Rheaume, Skål International World President, 2021.
At its 89th Anniversary, Skål World President Bill Rheaume and the Executive Board have decided to dedicate the entire month of April for Skål, aka ‘Doing Business Among Friends’ celebrations. As traveling and in-person meeting restrictions continue around the world, the Clubs are invited to celebrate and showcase their Club and their city via Online Zoom meetings. Over 25 Clubs from 25 different cities worldwide will be showcasing their destination during 60-minute presentations booked throughout April. The online meeting schedule is posted on Skål international website and Social media platforms. All meetings dedicated to Skål celebrations will be open to public participation in April 2021.
“I am thrilled to see clubs accept the challenge of celebrating Skål Month celebrations,” added Bill Rheaume, SI World President, 2021.
The initial Kick-off meeting for the Skål Month Celebrations will take place on April 6th at 15.00 pm CET where the Executive Board will host the global membership on a special Zoom meeting led by SI World President Bill Rheaume and SI CEO Daniela Otero to conduct the famous Skål toast in three official languages.
“To address the current challenges facing the tourism sector, we must nurture our rich history as an organization. Skål International, with its nine decades of experience in the sector, with partners who possess valuable expertise, and use our global Skål network, continues to address today’s challenges and forge a better future,” said Daniela Otero, CEO, Skål International.
Skål International is the World’s largest global network of Tourism Professionals promoting Tourism, Business, and Friendship. Its members are Directors and Executives of the Tourism sector who relate to each other to address common interest issues, improve a business network, and promote destinations. For more information about Skål International and membership, please visit www.Skål.org.