The first Club was founded in 1932 in Paris by travel managers, following an educational tour of Scandinavia. 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 approximately 22,000 members in 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.
Skål International is governed by an Executive Committee of seven members, elected by delegates to an annual General Assembly, held during the World Congress, hosted by a different country each year. This allows members firdt hand observation of the travel and tourism potential around the world. Membership of Skål is open to managers or executives directly involved in tourism management, sales and promotions, in specialised 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.
The international friendship and close personal contact of Skål must be experienced to be appreciated. "Doing Business among friends". Skål is not a community organization 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 amicable, ideas, opportunities and industry matters, in general, may be shared on a personal and business level.
Skål members should promote the organisation, the formation of new Clubs and recruit qualified members.
A Skål International Membership Proposal Form is available at your nearest Club or from the General Secretariat. Membership can also be submitted online at www.skal.org. Those interested in membership may attend a Club meeting nearby or while travelling on business or leisure. Prospective members must be endorsed by two current members and the local Executive and National Committees. Final approval must be obtained from Skål International.
Skål is non-political and encourages advancement and evolution through affiliation with other international industry organisations such as the World Tourism Organisation. Skål does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, politics or social standing. Skål supports charitable causes. Through contributions from Clubs around the world, the Florimond Volckaert Fund assists any Skål member in times of financial need or crisis.
The Skål International Membership Card entitles members to discounts at some participating outlets, provided by Skål Members. The network of Skål Members worldwide is now accessible via the Skål website at www.skal.org.
Information on members around the world is at your fingertips. Skål Members are welcome at all meetings around the world. Wherever you travel, you can access a network of Skål friends and colleagues. Skål News, a magazine published quarterly, is a medium for information about the organisation and an avenue for advertising exposure to 22,000 industry professionals.
Tony Clegg-Butt was President of Skal International Nairobi for two years 1990- 1991 Having previously served on the Club's Committee for the previous three years - in the late 1970's he was also a Committee member of SI Vancouver. After the completion of his term as President of the Nairobi Club he was elected as Kenya's International Councillor proudly representing the country on the Skal International Council. Prior to being elected a member of SI's global Executive Committee he was appointed Chairman of the Development Committee a position he carried forward being designated Development Director. After serving two terms as a Director he was subsequently elected as Vice President and in 200l was the first ever African elected as President of SI. He continues to be an active member of SI Nairobi and is the publisher of the travel magazine TN