Skal International’s 108th club was founded in Madrid on 4 March 1953. Since then, many things have changed in Spain, in Europe and in the world. Nowadays Spain is an important country in international tourism and Skal International Madrid is one of the most active Spanish clubs.
In recent years, Skal Madrid has gained recognition and prestige in the tourism sector and the club continues to grow in both the number of members and their professional importance.
Skal Madrid will hold several events throughout 2023 to celebrate such an important anniversary. The first of these events was recently held in a very special place, the Faculty of Commerce and Tourism of the Complutense University of Madrid (an institution of great prestige and 200 years of history).
The event was made possible thanks to the invaluable collaboration of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Dirección General de Turismo de la Comunidad de Madrid, and the Tourism Department of the Madrid City Council, three important institutions with which Skal Madrid maintains an excellent relationship.
The celebration event brought together more than 60 people, in addition to the institutional representation, there were many colleagues from tourism associations who wanted to join us on such a special day. Associations such as the Spanish Association of Hotel Managers, Les Clefs d’Or Spain, Association of Housekeepers, Spanish Association of Tourism Professionals, Tourism Department of the CEOE, and Spanish Confederation of Travel Agencies.
The event was very well conducted and presented by a well-known Spanish actress who is an inveterate traveller, and it featured several videos of past and present tourist activity in Madrid.
Ramón Adillón, president of Skal Internacional de Madrid, began the event by giving a quick overview of the history of Skal de Madrid, of which two of its presidents were the founder of Viajes Marsans, Enrique Marsans, and the famous barman Perico Chicote. This was followed by a video of the 1950s and then the Vice-Dean of the Faculty, Herbert González, who welcomed the attendees to the event.
This was followed by a speech by Raquel González, Head of Tourism Promotion at the Directorate General for Tourism of the Community of Madrid, on behalf of its Director General, Luis Martín, who praised the good work being done by Skal de Madrid, while giving suggestions for tourism in our region, which is attracting more and more tourists and visitors from other parts of Spain and abroad.
The honorary president of Skal International Madrid, Francisco Rivero, president of the club for seven years, began with the irony that he did not want to be a member of Skal, as he belongs to many other associations. He liked it so much that he managed to get the club, which some 10 years ago had only 8 members, now has more than 70, thanks to the good work of everyone and the new board of directors headed by Ramón Adillón. He congratulated the Skal Club of Madrid as vice-president of Skal Spain, on behalf of its president, the Canarian Jorge Rodríguez Galván, and as vice-president of Skal Europe, on behalf of its president, the Austrian Franz Heffeter.
The speeches were concluded by the Councillor for Tourism, Almudena Maíllo, who acknowledged that Madrid is currently the fourth most attractive capital in the world for tourists and the second in terms of the number of congresses after New York. We are looking for quality tourism and greater spending power, thanks to the investments being made by large hotel companies that are opening new high-level establishments in our city. He concluded, of course, by congratulating Skal Madrid on its 70th anniversary.
Subsequently, two videos were shown, one of tourism of the Community of Madrid and another of tourism promotion of the Madrid City Council, recently awarded at a festival of tourism videos in Valencia. There were also congratulatory videos sent by the president of the world Skal (1985-1986), Antonio García del Valle from Madrid who lives in Malaga, and from the twin clubs of Mexico, Andorra and Rome, as well as by the director of Skal International, Annette Cárdenas from Panama, and the world president of Skal International, Juan Ignacio Steta from Mexico, closed the event.
We received numerous expressions of affection and congratulations from different parts of the world, from our sister clubs in Mexico City, Andorra and Rome, as well as two very special messages from Juan Steta and Annette Cardenas, president and vice-president of Skal International. After the official ceremony, all the attendees enjoyed a cocktail in which we celebrated the traditional Skal toast.