Skål is the oldest tourism association in the world and was set up in Paris in 1932.
The Lodge came top in the rural accommodation category for its support of local communities in the Simien Mountains. Skål was impressed with the Lodge’s restoration of the Saddick Amba Monastery, with the support of the local villagers who carried bags of sand and cement around the cliff face. The monastery is suspended from the northern face of the Simien escarpment. The Lodge also organised the manufacture of hundreds of school desks for primary schools and donated a 25-seater bus to the community for travel to market and hospital. In addition, the Lodge organised an annual race for 3,000 participants who were given tee shirts and medals bearing the message “protect wildlife”.
Skal International Awards are given annually to those companies considered the best sustainable tourism projects if the year. This year, over 450 delegates came together from 49 countries to meet at the International Congress in Monaco between the 29th October and 2nd November. Skal is present in 82 countries in the world and has 15,000 members.
There was a Skal club in Addis in the days of the Emperor and following the Lodge’s success there are plans for a new club.