Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities
National Project for Tourism Human Resources Development,
Specialists have all agreed that tourism in its general sense is a reflection of the country’s image, a marketing of its culture and a presentation of its heritage. Although a tourism activity is mainly considered a private sector one, yet it has been granted much attention by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques government that envisages this activity as a generator of numerous employment and investment opportunities to Saudi nationals, apart from its being a promising and vital sector for diversifying resources of the national income.
This interest has been apparent in the issuance of the Honorable Royal Decree No. (9) dated 12/1/1421H. to establish the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities as the first fully independent body that cares for the development and enhancement of the national tourism in all aspects on scientific grounds and in accordance with a sophisticated institutional work.
Whereas human resources are the most significant assets on which development plans depend for all sectors worldwide, tourism industry needs to qualify and train citizens to ensure success of tourism development plans.
A study carried out by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities and its partners showed a shortage in the national manpower in tourism sectors and an urgent need for qualified and professional national staff to operate and manage this sector. The study also revealed that the insufficiency of tourism education & training facilities, resources and programs is a major employment obstacle encountering the national manpower wishing to work in the field of tourism.
In pursuit to establish an ad hoc body to care for developing tourism human resources in line with the most advanced methods and the best occupational competencies and standards in the world, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities launched the National Project for Tourism Human Resources Development “Takamul”.
The project aspires to achieve a Saudi tourism sector entirely managed and operated by qualified nationals that possess knowledge, skills, capabilities and attitudes necessary to fill out tourism vacant positions that would be generated by developed sustainable tourism.
The project’s mission is to augment the rate of Saudization for tourism occupations by motivating tourism education and training, embracing occupational competencies and standards to upgrade performance in tourism industry, remove obstacles and provide propelling incentives to develop the national human resources.
· Set up regulatory and institutional environment aiming at developing the national human resources in tourism industry.
· Create and develop uniform systems for tourism professional criteria, competencies and occupational accreditation.
· Saudize tourism sector occupations.
· Encourage investment in tourism education and training.
· Promote training programs and consultative services in the sphere of small and emerging project management.
· Enhance occupational awareness programs and activities.
· Streamline efforts, roles and responsibilities of partners in tourism human resources development.
· Saudize and promote traditional and handcrafted items and develop marketing outlets for the products of craftsmen and craftswomen.
Project’s Steering Committee:
To add to the success of the National Project for Tourism Human Resources Development, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities has sought to take on the principle of partnership with all public and private sector enterprises to facilitate, simplify and implement the project layouts and schemes.
To activate the principle of partnership and proper planning for implementing the project’s policies and schemes, a steering committee under the chairmanship of HRH president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities has been establishment to include members from all relevant public and private institutions, particularly those on the decision-making level.
Members of the Steering Committee:
HRH President and Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.
· His Highness Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al-Faisal University and Prince Sultan colleges of tourism and administration in Jeddah and Abha.
· Governor of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation.
· Director General of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA).
· Assistant President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.
· Representatives of the following ministries at deputy minister level:
- Ministry of Interior,
- Ministry of Labor,
- Ministry of Higher Education,
- Ministry of Education,
· Secretary General of the Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry,
· Director General of the Human Resources Development Fund,
· Dean of the Faculty of Tourism & Archaeology at King Saud University,
· Chairman of the Hajj, Umrah and Tourism Committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry,
· Representatives of the private sector in the following fields:
· Travel & tourism agencies,
- Tourism accommodation and hospitality sector,
- Tourism attractions and entertainment sector,
· Director General of the National Project for Tourism Human Resources Development.
Roles & Functions of the Steering Committee:
· Approve goals and prioritize objectives.
· Form the primary and secondary working teams and assign tasks to the members.
· Approve the action plan for each primary working team.
· Overcome difficulties and obstacles encountering the teams.
· Foster the efforts aiming at searching for further funding means for tourism occupation Saudization programs.
· Approve and follow up implementation of recommendations.
I. Tourism Occupation Saudization Programs.
II. Occupational Awareness programs.
III. Investment in Tourism Human Resources Development Programs.
I. Tourism Occupation Saudization Programs:
Develop and carry out the inclusive strategies and layouts of tourism sector occupation Saudization.
· Travel & Tourism Sector.
· Accommodation and Hospitality Sector.
· Tourism Attraction Sector (entertainment).
· Antiquities and Museums Sector.
· Handicrafts and Traditional Items Sector.
· This program lays down strategies and schemes for Saudizing tourism sector occupations. Hence, the project in collaboration with several competent partners in the public and private sectors developed schemes for Saudizing tourism sector occupations.
· These strategies and plans involve providing protection and promotion of recruitment initiatives based on set parameters that would ensure that those human resources wishing to work for tourist facilities meet all the requirements laid down thereby to enhance the competitive capabilities of such facilities. This is grounded in the belief of the positive outcomes that would be reaped by the nation and the nationals when achieving this plan’s direct and indirect goals, the most important of which are:
- Create employment and investment opportunities for citizens in tourism sector.
- Reinforce elements of the economic and social stability by relying on the national labor force.
- Develop and maintain local expertise.
· In preparing and implementing the layouts, several factors or considerations were observed, the most important of which is to preserve the primary interests of the stakeholders concerned especially those investors and capitalists placing their funds in the tourism sector.
· The project and its partners also developed some occupational standards and criteria for tourist jobs and occupations in targeted sectors. Approved by specialized international organizations, these standards and criteria aim at identifying the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for performing such functions and responsibilities of tourism occupations to ensure quality and efficient tourism training and rehabilitation programs.
· Based on those criteria, communications with some specialized national and international organizations were being undertaken to develop training portfolios for tourism occupations compatible with the said criteria, and to develop inclusive occupational training and qualifying programs including English, computer, general and special skills programs that would incapacitate work in tourism sector. In order to pave the road for tourism sector to employ nationals, the project and its partners took the following steps:
- Benefit from the financial assets of the human resources development fund for training and employment programs.
- Provide quality developed curriculum (DACUM) and specialist training material (portfolios).
- Recruit well-trained and qualified Saudi professionals according to the internationally-accredited criteria through the following steps:
- Tendency tests,
- English language proficiency tests,
- Proceeding with training,
- Selection of leading training institutions,
- Internationally-tailored and accredited training programs.
II. Professional Awareness Program:
· This program aims at developing a positive logical image of the nature of tourism occupation, and at motivating citizens to work in tourism occupations.
· The program also aims at promoting knowledge and skills of public and private sector employees who are involved directly with tourists.
· This program is designed to provide tourism awareness to all brackets of the society to encourage and drive labor-aged citizens to work in tourism occupations. The program is to be implemented by making intensive awareness campaigns at various levels, or by other ways and means that highlight the many benefits and advantages provided by the sector. The program also aims at introducing qualified citizens to employers, underscoring their skills and capabilities of working responsibly in the tourist sector with all professionality required.
· Besides, the program guides and directs labor-aged youths including high school and university graduates and new labor market entrants to work in tourism sector. The people influencing youth’s decision making such as parents, teachers, instructors, educational administrators are called upon to direct youths to tourism fields.
· The program provides a number of training and awareness enhancing programs for several brackets of workers in public and private sectors to develop their skills in tourism and tourist sectors.
Samples of Programs:
· Security sectors in the Ministry of Interior, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Customs Department, staff members of the Wildlife Protection Commission, and Taxi drivers.
· Tourism Product Developer.
· Tourism Guide
· Tourism Event Organizers.
· Rapporteurs of Tourism Development Committees.
III. Investment in Tourism Human Resources Development Program:
· Cooperate with public and private tourist education and training Institutions:
· Encourage investors to establish tourist education and training institutions.
· Support owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in training, rehabilitating and incubating tourism trainees.
· This objective is to upgrade education and training levels in tourism at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by way of transferring advanced international expertise in tourism education and training to the Kingdom, support establishment of specialist colleges, institutes and centers, consolidate advanced education and training criteria of such institutes, and incorporate tourist specializations into government scholarship programs of the three academic degrees (Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree & Doctoral –PhD- degree).
· This program also encourages local and foreign investors to invest in Tourism Human resources development, consolidates and deploys the theme of tourist incubators and assists in establishing such incubators in cooperation with the public and private sectors to support owners of small and emerging enterprises, handicrafts and traditional trades to produce high quality products.
· This program is designed to effectuate the concept of partnership through cooperation and consolidation efforts with the universities, colleges and other government and private educational and training institutions. The ultimate end is to come up with a mutual perspective about tourism qualification and training, assist these educational institutions in establishing colleges, institutes and centers, and work with the Ministry of Higher Education to provide tourist sector with national professionals through the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque's program of tourist scholarships.
· This program is also keen to create favorable investment environment that would promote local and foreign investors to invest in tourism human resources development and improve competencies. Furthermore, the program cares for developing and implementing specialized training programs in managing small and emerging enterprises, establishing tourist incubators to assist and advise small investors in managing their own businesses, and finally building up cooperation partnership with government and private educational and training agencies.
· In addition, the program offers training courses on craftsmen and craftswomen trades that would enable them to manufacture various handicrafts and traditional trades renowned in different regions of the Kingdom. Tourist incubators are also there to ensure quality of the manufactured items before creating outlets to market them as tourist products that reflect part of the nation’s history and heritage. Financial support is to be sought in collaboration with other financial institutions to fund incubator graduates with easy loans and/or donations that would encourage them to start their own business.
The National Project for Tourism Human Resources Development Guide.
Manuals of Training Programs for Travel and Tourism occupations:
- Ticketing and reservations.
- Tourist Guide.
- Tourism Accounting.
- Tourism Product Developer.
- Customer Services.
- Air Cargo.
- Tourism Information Center.
- Tourist Booking.
- Sales and Marketing.
- Airport Passenger Service.