82nd Skål International World Congress Highlights, Recognitions and Awards

The 82nd Skål International World Congress was held in Malaga, Spain, from 1 to 5 November 2023.

It was a pleasure to share these days with all the skålleagues who attended this congress.

The dates of the next host cities for the 2024 and 2025 Congresses are:

83rd Skål International World Congress

The 2024 Congress will be held in Izmir, Türkiye, from October 16 to 21, 2024.


84th Skål International World Congress

The 2025 Congress will be held in Cuzco, Peru, from September 25 to 30, 2025.


During this 82nd Congress, we have witnessed the implementation of the new governance model, knowing the results of the voting process to form the new Executive Board for 2024.

International Skål Council

The International Skål Council held its last meeting during this Congress, on Wednesday 1 November 2023, due to the new governance model coming into operation. 

The International Skål Council has been in operation since 1 May 1958 and during the farewell dinner, the Skål International President Juan I. Steta presented a commemorative plaque to the President of the International Skål Council, Julie Dabaly Scott. 

It is important to mention that the goal of the International Skål Council's initiative to raise 90,000 Euros for the Florimond Volckaert Fund has been achieved, 45,000 Euros from member donations and the other 45,000 Euros from an anonymous donor.

Get-Together Party

The Get-Together Party was held at the Hotel Barceló Málaga, and all participants were able to enjoy a relaxed evening, meeting friends and skålleagues from all over the world.

During the Get-Together Party, the President Juan I. Steta presented a special pin to members with more than 40 years of membership.

Opening Ceremony

During the Opening Ceremony, which took place on Thursday, November 2 at the Edgar Neville Auditorium of the Malaga Provincial Council, Skål International presented the Sustainable Tourism Awards, as well as the Membership Development Awards, the Club of the Year Award, and the Presidential Recognitions and Awards.

Complete list of awards and recognitions

Membership Development Campaign Awards

Silver Awards

Net increase winner:
Joint: Skål International Boston & Skål International Hawaii

Percentage increase winner:
Skål International Kapadokya


Gold Awards

Net increase winner:
Skål International Chennai


Percentage increase winner:
Skål International Bali


Platinum Awards

Net increase winner:
Skål International Bali


Percentage increase winner:
Joint: Skål International Villahermosa & Skål International Jakarta


Club of the Year Awards

First Position

Skål International Nairobi

Second Position

Skål International Christchurch

Third Position

Skål International Wellington

Presidential Recognitions and Awards

Presentation of Trophies to Committees’ Chairmen

The President of Skål International, Juan I. Steta, also presented the presidential recognitions and awards and thanked all the members who had worked so hard on the different committees during the year. 

Transition Committee

Hülya Aslantas (Advisor)

Alfred Merse (Co-Chair)

Lavonne Wittmann (Co-Chair)

Holly Powers (Co-Chair)

Training & Education Committee

Lavonne Wittmann (Co-Chair)

Statutes & By-Laws Committee

Salih Cene (Co-Chair)

Mok Singh (Co-Chair)

Advocacy & Global Partnership Committee

Olukemi Soetan (Co-Chair)

Steve Richer (Co-Chair)

Membership Development Committee

Victoria Wales (Chair)

Technology Committee

Burcin Turkkan (Advisor)

Graham Mann (Co-Chair)

James Thurlby (Co-Chair)

Media & Public Relations Committee

Wayne Lee (Co-Chair)

Frank Legrand (Co-Chair)

Fundraising Committee

Anurag Gupta (Co-Chair)

Deniz Anapa (Co-Chair)

Skålleague of the Year

In appreciation of his service and efforts in the promotion of Skål International:

Alfred Merse

Skål International Hobart (Australia)

Rising Skål Leaders

Ashley Munn (Skål International Broome, Australia)

Dushy Jayaweera (Skål International Colombo, Sri Lanka) 

Certificate of Excellence

James Thurlby (Skål International Bangkok, Thailand)

Stuart Bolwell (Skål International Bali, Indonesia)

Liz Tapawa (Skål International Nairobi, Kenya) 

Nikki Giumelli (Skål International Cairns, Australia)

Armando Ballarin (Skål International Venezia, Italy)

Victoria Wales (Skål International Christchurch, New Zealand)

Skål Ambassador of the Year

Hülya Aslantas (Skål International Istanbul, Türkiye)

Skål Lifetime Achievement

Mok Singh (Skål International Los Angeles, U.S.A.)

Certificate of Appreciation

Denis Smith (Skål International Winnipeg, Canada)

Skål Order of Merit

Carlos Asensio, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

John Mavros, Orange Coast (U.S.A.)

Lavonne Wittmann, Pretoria (South Africa)

Nicolle Martin, Côte d'Azur (France) 

Hubert Neubacher, Hamburg (Germany)

Angélica Angon, Bahias de Huatulco (Mexico)

Skål Corporate Order of Merit

Responsible Tourism Institute & Biosphere Tourism

Membres d'Honneur

During the Skål International Congress, these members were awarded the distinction of Membre d'Honneur:

George Booth, Skål International Perth, Australia

Dilip Borawake, Skål International Pune, India

Leighton Cameron, Skål International Christchurch, New Zealand 

Partha Chatterjee, Skål International Bombay, India (Posthumously)

Abimbola Durosinmi-Etti, Skål International Lagos, Nigeria

Charles Fabian, Skål International Coimbatore, India

Frances Fausett, Skål International Darwin, Australia 

Augusto Minei, Skål International Roma, Italy

Sabrina NayuduSkål International Chennai, India

Ganesh P, Skål International Coimbatore, India

Leonard William Pullen, Skål International Orlando, U.S.A.

Rajinder Rai, Skål International Delhi, India

Rajendra Singh Bhati, Skål International Bangalore, India

Manav Soni, Skål International Kolkata, India

Sunil V A, Skål International Bombay, India

Skål International, awarded by UNWTO for 30 years of Affiliate Membership

Skål International was awarded by the World Tourism Organisation for 30 years of affiliate membership during the award ceremony that took place on 16 October 2023 in the 44th UNWTO Affiliate Members Plenary Session, during the 25th session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
Skål International Past-President Hülya Aslantas, who attended the event and accepted the recognition on behalf of Skål International, and Mr. Ion Vilcu, Director Affiliate Members Department World Tourism Organization, presented the recognition to the President of Skål International, Juan I. Steta.

Skål International Clubs Twinning

The twinning between Skål International Christchurch and Skål International Cape Winelands also took place during the Congress. 

This signing seals the commitment of both clubs to strengthen relations between these two territories, generate business between friends and enhance the ties of friendship that exist between members.

Annual General Assembly

Skål International held its Annual General Meeting on 3 November 2023, where topics of great interest for the future of the organization were discussed, and the results of the elections for the new Board of Directors of Skål International were made public.

This management team of 14 members will initiate the new governance model of Skål International.

Gala Dinner

Skål International closed its 2023 World Congress in Málaga, Spain, on 4 November 2023 with a Gala Dinner held at the CSI-IDEA Building in Alhaurin de la Torre.