70th anniversary of Skål International Madrid

On 4 March 1953, Skål International Madrid was founded in the restaurant 'La Barraca' on Calle de la Reina, parallel to Gran Vía.

It was the third in Spain, after Barcelona and Mallorca. It was founded in this famous restaurant in the 50's where the Hollywood stars who were shooting their movies at that time in the capital of Spain went to meet for lunch.

On March 3, 2023, an important event was held at the Faculty of Tourism of the Complutense University, located at Avenida de Filipinas, number 3, in memory of the founding of this international association of tourism professionals, which today has about 13,000 members in more than one hundred countries, and with the attendance of numerous personalities from the tourism sector in Madrid, among others the Councillor for Tourism, Almudena Maíllo, Héctor Coronel, Director General of Tourism in Madrid, and former president of Skål International Spain, Pepa Diaz, current president of Skål International Cadiz.

In addition, various professional associations were represented, such as the Spanish Association of Tourism Professionals; Protected Gastronomic Heritage, 'Las Llaves de Oro', Solidarity Tourism 2020, The Museum of Tourism and others.

The event was opened by the President of Skål International Madrid, Ramón Adillón, who gave a quick overview of the history of Skål International Madrid and its two former presidents, the founder of Viajes Marsans, Enrique Marsans, and the famous bartender Perico Chicote. Next, a video of the 50's era was shown and then spoke the Vice Dean of the Faculty, Herbert González, who welcomed the attendees to the building and excused the attendance of the Dean because she was giving classes at the same time.

Raquel Gonzalez, Head of Tourism Promotion of the Directorate General of Tourism of the Community of Madrid, then spoke on behalf of its Director General, Luis Martin, who praised the good work being done by Skål International 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 Skål 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 Skål International as he belongs to many other associations. He liked it so much that he had managed to ensure that the club, which had only 8 members about 10 years ago, now had more than 70 members, thanks to the good work of everyone and the new board of directors headed by Ramón Adillón. He congratulated Skål International Madrid as Vice President of Skål International Spain, on behalf of its President, Jorge Rodríguez Galván from the Canary Islands, and as Vice President of Skål International Europe, on behalf of its President, Franz Heffeter from Austria. 

Almudena Maíllo, Councilor for Tourism, concluded the speeches by recognizing that Madrid is today the fourth most attractive capital in the world for tourists and the second in 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 Skål International Madrid on its 70th anniversary.

Afterwards, two videos were shown, one of tourism of the Community of Madrid and another of tourism promotion of the Madrid City Council, recently awarded in a festival of tourism videos in Valencia. There were also congratulatory videos sent by the former world president of Skål International (1985-1986), Antonio García del Valle, born in Madrid and settled in Malaga, and from the twin clubs of Mexico, Andorra and Rome, as well as from the director of Skål International, Annette Cárdenas, from Panama. The mesaage from the world president of Skål International, Juan Ignacio Steta, from Mexico, closed the event.

The event was closed with a Spanish wine, where the activities of the club were discussed and where people interested in belonging to it could be seen, given the great contribution to the professionalism that Skål International Madrid has been making.