Skål International was founded in 1934, and is an international association of travel and tourism professionals. Skål, as an international organization of industry leaders, is a powerful force in the travel and tourism industry to initiate change and encourage the conservation of the environment in order to promote tourism and travel.
ICTP chairman, Juergen T. Steinmetz, said: “Skål values sustainable development as the key to the industry’s future success and considers ecotourism but one area of the various components of sustainable development. It is a tourism organization which cares about the possible implications of its activities and recognizes its responsibility in developing and operating in such a manner as to contribute positively in the protection and preservation of natural, social, and cultural environments.”
Following the United Nations declaration of 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains, Skål International launched the Ecotourism Awards in the same year to highlight and acknowledge best practices around the globe.
Karine Coulanges, vice-president of Skål International, is very proud to now be a partner and recognizes ICTP’s actions. She said, “Because ICTP is present in countries and regions where Skål International is not established today, we see great development opportunities for creating new clubs, especially in Africa, to help the countries to develop their international tourism.”
The awards presented on these grounds, while highlighting best practices in tourism around the world, also serve the purpose of acquainting the world with this new concept that puts emphasis on the importance of the interaction of the physical, cultural, and social environments; the traveler’s responsibility; and the need for active community participation in ecotourism.
Skål recognizes and accepts responsibility to operate in such a way as to continuously decrease the impact of its activities on the environment, to provide benefits to the communities which host these activities, and to ensure the well-being of local societies and the sustainability of destinations so that they can be enjoyed by future generations.
For more information about Skål, visit their website at: www.skal.org .