How can I help you? More women join Saudi tourism and hospitality industry

JEDDAH: The number of Saudi women working in the tourism and hospitality sector is rapidly growing.

Many have begun to work at five-star hotels in positions ranging from receptionists to public relation managers, customer services, bookings and other jobs.

Ibraheem Al-Sini, dean of the tourism and hospitality college at King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, told Arab News: “In 2019, a special degree for females will be offered, and a tourism and hospitality major will form one of the specialties under the department of events management.”

A study conducted by Al-Sini over the past 12 years has shown that a huge transformation has taken place in terms of improvements in qualifications and employee performance.

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He added that another study was conducted globally on the number of people working and studying in the events management sector which revealed that more than 75 percent of employees in this field are female.

“Thus, we decided to have event management as a department for female students at KAU.”

Asked about qualifications for working in the tourism and hospitality sector, he said: “Employees have to have practical experience, not only theoretical, to be able to cope with hotel rules and understand how to deal professionally with consumers.”

Language and communication skills are also important, he added: “Mastery of the English language is one of the basics in such jobs, and speaking more than one language will make the employee more confident when communicating with customers.”

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The recruitment department at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel told Arab News: “Many women are started working at Hilton hotels in positions such as guest relations, receptionists on the businessmen’s floor, and other administrative positions.

“Conditions of recruitment depend on the employee’s English language skills. Also, priority goes to tourism and hospitality graduates. We have two female employees for now and look forward to increasing the number.”

As the tourism sector is one of the fastest developing sectors in the country and in the world, it should offer graduates ample opportunities for work.

Source Credit: Arab News

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