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14,000 jobs await Saudis in travel, tourism sector

24 August 17

Saudi Gazette

More than 14,000 new jobs with monthly salaries reaching up to SR35,000 are available for qualified Saudi men and women in the travel and tourism sector.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) has given Dec. 23 deadline for travel and tourism companies and agencies to Saudize leadership jobs in the sector.

The jobs, which are available at travel agencies, tourism booking offices, and tour operators, are currently occupied by foreigners. The commission has urged authorities to train Saudis to take up the jobs targeted for Saudization before Dec. 23.

“Travel and tourism companies and agencies that violate the Saudization law will be punished if they fail to employ Saudis in the targeted jobs,” a SCTNH official said.

Prince Sultan Bin Salman, president of SCTNH and chairman of the National Council for Development of Human Resources in Tourism, emphasized the need to monitor travel and tourism companies to ensure they have Saudized the recommended jobs without failure.

The commission officials will visit travel and tourism firms and institutions across the country to enlighten them on the need to Saudize jobs within the timeframe. Violators of the Saudization program would be punished in accordance with the law after the Dec. 23 deadline.

Investors and experts said the tourism sector would provide at least 14,000 new jobs for salaries ranging between SR15,000 and SR35,000. Investors need finance while Saudi workers require training.

Dr. Nasser Bin Aqeel Al-Tayyar, an investor in travel, tourism and aviation, said the sector would be able to provide more than 14,000 jobs if proper measures are taken to strengthen it.

“Saudization of jobs in this vital sector is a national requirement and we have been calling for it for the last 30 years,” Al-Tayyar told Al-Madina Arabic daily.

He said executives holding leadership positions would receive attractive salaries up to SR35,000. “There are many key jobs in this huge sector, which should be handled professionally.”

Al-Tayyar said the Saudization program can be implemented by taking a number of steps such as providing transportation and conducting intensive training programs.

“We need universities and training centers for the purpose,” he added.

Shortage of funds, lack of qualified Saudi workers and dearth of specialized training centers are some of the problems facing the sector, he said while advising authorities to take the opinion of investors and tourism experts into consideration before taking vital decisions.

“Travel and tourism is the third largest economic sector in the whole world. It can bring good results for the Kingdom in terms of economic development and job creation,” Al-Tayyar said.

Abdullatif Al-Afaliq, chairman of the National Tourism Committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, emphasized the need to develop tourism as a leading employer of Saudis.

“The main problem facing tourism and travel companies is lack of finance and encouragement. By the launch of Vision 2030 we expect greater flow of funds to the sector, which is capable of playing a significant role in economic transformation,” he told Al-Madina.

He said Saudis could find a lot of job opportunities in the sector with salaries ranging between SR15,000 and SR20,000. Tourism should be promoted throughout the year, he added.

“Tourist visas should be issued throughout the year. This will help travel and tourism companies and agencies earn good revenue. The government should also provide them with easy finance by setting up a tourism development fund,” he explained.

Al-Afaliq called for greater government support to the travel and tourism sector, by implementing necessary infrastructure projects and backing transport and airline companies.
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