In English

Helsinki seen from the Baltic Sea

Skål International Helsinki was founded in its current form 12th November 1948 becoming then the 45th Skål Club in the world. Today there are 367 clubs with ca 15 2500 members around the world.

The Helsinki Club has at present (July 12th, 2016) 89 individual members who represent different travel organizations mainly in the Helsinki Metropolitan area.

The activities are run by a Board of Directors which is elected annually. The annual activity plan offers members different kind of professional and attractive events. One of them is the traditional annual La Nuit Touristique charity event.  During the recent years the Club has donated part of the annual lottery revenues of these events to patients’ recreation activities at the Childrens’ Psychiatric Hospital.  See Event calendar 2016 (Tapahtumakalenteri 2016).

The sixty years of the Club’s history include many interesting periods and events.  In 1974 the Helsinki Club hosted the Skål World Congress with Finland’s president, Mr Urho Kekkonen, as the patron of the event. Three club members have worked as World Presidents of Skål International. Gunnar von Haartman and Kaj Lindblad. The most recent of them, Mr Birger Bäckman,  during 1989 – 1990.  In 2005 Silja Line received the annual International Skål Sustainability Award for their partnership in the Baltic Sea Environmental Program. The price was received by recommendation of the Helsinki Club and as part of the Skål Sustainability Award Program aimed at transportation companies. Haikko Manor got the same prize in 2012. The category was "Urban Accommodation". Last year, Viking Lane won also the trophy in "Transportation" category with their flagship "Viking Grace".

Today Helsinki Club is having a strategy for 2015 - 2020 which is giving guidelines in the future. The main goal is to have more members, providing interesting business and social events for Skål members and operating actively to promote sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Also there will be a project to establish Young Skål in cooperation with local tourism education institutions. The new Young Skål started in the beginning of 2013. Young Skål group leader is Mr. Henri Annila, henri.annila(at)



Helsinki Club Board Members 2016


PresidentStefan Ekholmstefan.ekholm(at)
Vice PresidentKari Halonenkari.halonen(at)
SecretaryEnna Paavolaenna.paavola(at)
Young SkålKarla Ruutu karla.ruutu(at)
SustainabilityKari Halonenkari.halonen(at)
Master of Ceremonies

Stefan Ekholm

Sven Hansen

Marjo Ranta-Irwin




Marketing Kari Halonen kari.halonen(at)
Communications & PR Marjo Ranta-Irwin marjo.ranta-irwin(at)
 Twinning Cities Project Stefan Ekholm stefan.ekholm(at)