An industry roundtable composed of GCC government tourism bodies, major hotel chain management and private sector industry stakeholders met earlier to form a voluntary advisory board for encouraging national citizen hospitality industry employment.
The session was hosted by Ahmed Ramdan, founder of Ròya International, while Jonathan Worsley of Bench Events acted as the session moderator.
In what was the first event of its kind in the GCC, all participants, whether from the industry or the supporting government bodies, joined together to share the current challenges and opportunities in regional citizen employment.
Ramdan stated: ‘”Like every industry, our success depends on attracting the best and brightest talent.
“To do this, we should work together to change current perceptions and misunderstandings about the real opportunities hospitality offers, locally and internationally.
“Our objective is to move negative opinions and misconceptions into positive territory.”
Putting aside all competitive programs, the group candidly shared current practices, initiatives, experiences and feedback to effect major positive changes for the good of all GCC stakeholders and agreed to form an advisory board to be headed by Ramdan.
The new board will meet two-to-three times annually to create an umbrella industry initiative based on testimonials and success stories from current GCC team members.
The board members will also set up a steering committee, made up of regional HR leaders, tasked with meeting to explore innovation and common best practices.
The meeting ended with the following agreed common objectives:
- The creation of a dedicated hospitality industry career fair to be held annually in the region, specifically targeted at GCC youth and young job seekers.
- To emphasise to existing GCC hospitality industry employees, the prospect of international career opportunities and transfers within their respective organizations, providing them with another dimension for career fulfilment.
- Support new initiatives through digital platforms to host and showcase the various positive opportunities and diverse fields of the GCC and global hospitality industry.
Ending the session, Worsley commented: “So many young people think that hospitality only means food and beverage or reception roles.
“One of our key goals is to explain that this critical industry needs every kind of talent from accountants to engineers, architects to events planners and marketing professionals.
“The real purpose of our new industry forum is to work with government bodies and the private sector to spread that message far and wide in order to attract young talent from the GCC region.”