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Hilton to train Saudi youth amidst push to develop local hospitality talent

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June 19th, 2022

RIYADH: Hospitality major Hilton has partnered with Bunyan for Training, a local affiliate of Swiss hospitality management school Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, to train young Saudi talent willing to enter the industry.

The training program, which will allow a number of select students to receive advanced theoretical and practical curricula, is accredited by the Saudi Technical and Vocational Training Corp. and certified by the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, according to a statement.

It will also allow students to pursue a Bachelor’s degree and expand their skill set across a variety of hospitality professions, including the culinary arts, food and beverage service, front office, and housekeeping.

The program has been designed with the aim of providing job opportunities to young talent across Hilton hotels in Saudi following graduation.

“We’re delighted to collaborate with Hilton for this groundbreaking training program that we believe will provide a hugely beneficial start to a group of young students,” CEO of Bunyan for Training, Nabil Tuker said.

Through expert coaching and real-life work experience, he said these students will have the best possible start in the hospitality industry with Hilton.

A ‘golden era’ for Saudi hospitality sector

This comes on the back of Saudi’s push to develop the hospitality sector as part of the strategy to diversify away from the fuel-based economy.

With the Kingdom’s travel and tourism sector enjoying a dramatic rebound post-pandemic, the program is expected to play a part in developing local talent which Saudi would be in greater need of as more international hotels open their operation in the country.

The Kingdom’s major cities such as Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah witnessed their revenue per available room, or RevPAR, rising to 88 percent, 85 percent and 56 percent, respectively, in 2021, according to hospitality research company STR.

The Jeddah hotel industry occupancy climbed to 64 percent in May, which is the highest since September 2019.

Furthermore, the pace of growth is set to gather steam as the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform program aims to attract 100 million annual visitors within eight years.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News earlier, a top official of Knight Frank said the next 10 years will be a golden era for Saudi hospitality as the country has laid down the foundation of transformation in the sector.

“It will not happen again in the coming years and years to come. It will lay the foundation for hospitality in the long term,” Turab Saleem, head of hospitality, tourism and leisure consultancy at Knight Frank in the Middle East and North Africa, said on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit held last month.


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