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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb launched on Tuesday a strategy to develop human capital in the tourism sector, which is to be implemented by the ministry in cooperation with its partners in the governmental and private sectors.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that the strategy was formulated to draw clear lines so that the younger generation in the Kingdom would engage in the tourism and hospitality professions, with an aim to create around one million new job opportunities by the year 2030.
Al-Khateeb said this strategy is an extension of the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 as well as the tourism development strategy to achieve overall growth in domestic tourism revenues that will reach about 10 percent over the coming 10 years, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The strategy, which was launched in the vicinity of Salwa Palace in Diriyah, consists of 20 programs with 15 of them seek to prepare Saudis to take up jobs in the Kingdom’s tourism sector.
“The strategy represents an important step aimed at developing human capital in the tourism sector, with the aim of making the Kingdom a prosperous and attractive destination for tourists, by creating sustainable job opportunities for male and female citizens, and achieving basic goals,” Al-Khateeb said.
He suggested a gradual localization of jobs in the tourism sector while attracting qualified cadres to take up the jobs in the sector. He said the goals also include the application of the highest standards in education and training within and outside the Kingdom, in cooperation with government agencies and the private sector at home and abroad, to achieve the growth of local human capital in the tourism sector.
The minister said that the launch of the strategy is in line with the aspirations of the leadership to find new paths and job opportunities in the tourism sector as this sector is vital and has ample opportunities for entrepreneurs and those self-employed.
“Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman always stress the importance of exerting efforts to attract local talent and provide them with job opportunities. Developing the skills of young Saudi men and women in the tourism industry will be realized in accordance with the highest international standards, and by making use of global partnerships through the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the rest of the international partners in the universities and tourism academies,” he said.
Al-Khateeb said that the strategy strives to support medium and small enterprises to develop their businesses and contribute to creating job opportunities in order to boost the national economy. “The development of skills for young Saudi men and women in the fields of the tourism industry will be in line with the highest international standards.”
Al-Khateeb pointed out that the strategy seeks through its programs to enhance awareness about the basic concepts of tourism jobs with a focus on serving guests and developing personal skills for workers in the tourism sector so as to provide unique experiences in various available tourism professions.
“This reinforces the labor market’s need for these specializations in the giant tourism projects that the government is currently building in the Red Sea, Qiddiya, Diriyah Gate, NEOM and others, as well as tourism projects in the private sector that are supported by the strategy of developing human capital with highly trained competencies,” he said.
Al-Khateeb emphasized that the ministry has a clear-cut localization strategy in the tourism sector in view of the fact that the increase in the rates of localization in the sector makes the tourists able to interact with citizens and experience the real feel of Saudi hospitality.
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