Shortly after the inauguration of the first joint Swedish and French air service between Stockholm and Paris in 1932, a group of travellers from the French capital were invited to make an exploratory flight over the new route. The welcome they received in Stockholm led to many lasting friendships. Realizing the importance of closer relationships, those who made the flight to Stockholm were determined to find a permanent organization whose primary aim would be the creation of goodwill and friendship in travel and transportation circles throughout the world.
The “Association Internationale des Skal Clubs (AICS)” was created on 28th April 1934 in the Hotel Scribe and Florimont Volckaert became its founder President who is considered the “Father of Skal”.
Skal is a professional organization 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 managers and executives, meet at local, regional, national and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest.
Today, the organization has approximately 20 000 members in 480 clubs throughout more than 80 countries. Most of these club’s activities occur at a local level, moving up through National Committees under the umbrella of Skal International, headquartered at the General Secretariat in Torremolinos, Spain.
Skal International is governed by an Executive Committee of six members elected by delegates to an annual General Assembly held during the Skal World Congress hosted by a different country each year so that members are allowed to see for themselves the travel and tourism potential all around the world.
Tourism came late to Thailand around the 60’s when national and international representatives from the hospitality industry joined to form the first of Thailand’s Skal clubs in Bangkok. This rapidly attracted more members and their interest has been extended to cities such as Pattaya and Chiang Mai. The movement started to gain more and more fame and had spread outwards Phuket, Samui, Hua Hin and most recently Krabi.
The Krabi branch of Skal International has been in place for more than one month now and has attracted so far about 30 members ranging from resort and hotels managers, luxury villas and restaurants owners. In order for the members to stay in touch, a regular monthly dinner will be held in local hotels or restaurants owned or managed by the members. This is the best way to discuss the travel and tourism industries, network and engage in community activities.
The official launch of the 7th Skal International Club in Thailand happened on Wednesday July 29th from 6pm to 9 pm right here in Krabi at Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa managed by George Kenton, who happens to be the President of Skal International Krabi. All the members of the Skal International Club Krabi attended the event and dignitaries from Skal Thailand and the Government as well. This was the ideal platform for networking and promoting the business of each members and guests. ‘Enjoy business amongst friends’ is how Skal Krabi’s President, George Kenton, puts it. He continued by saying that ‘it will be our mission this term to grow membership from within all areas of the travel and tourism sector as well as work on ways to maximize the opportunities of growing business for all our members”.
For example Skal International Krabi will be the opportunity for a new manager coming to Krabi for the first time to meet up and socialize thanks to the Skal’s networking support system established by its committee members.
The organization has also a philanthropic purpose for members who find themselves in trouble to help and advise them. The Florimond Volckaert Fund was created for such urgent situations. Members in the past have been helped because of emergencies of any sort and each of the 20 000 members has a small part of his annual subscription set aside to contribute.
The first Skal International Krabi event as an official club was held at Cliff Scala Restaurant at Ao Nang Cliff Beach Resort on Wednesday August 26th.
For more information you can visit their Facebook page:
Or contact them through their mailing address at:
Skal Krabi C/O Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa Krabi, Krabi 81150 THAILAND
To Fellow SKALleagues everywhere: