Marriott International’s future growth strategy is testament to the Kingdom’s vision to achieve a thriving economy, vibrant society and an ambitious nation largely achieved by the raising of non-oil revenue to $160 billion by 2020 up from $43.5 billion last year. Travel & Tourism will play a crucial role in boosting this revenue and strengthening the economy. During SHIC 2018, Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International will join Dr Badr Al Badr Chief Executive Officer, DUR Hospitality, and other hospitality leaders to discuss Marriott International’s strategic support in realizing Saudi Vision 2030.
Speaking on the occasion, Alex Kyriakidis said, “The Saudi Vison 2030 makes it a very exciting time for those working in, or hoping to work in the Travel & Tourism industry in the Kingdom. The renewed focus and investment in the sector opens up a wealth of opportunity for Saudi nationals. Following a successful 40 years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we remain committed to our continued support towards growth of the tourism sector. Our Saudi Arabia growth plan along with the implementation of our programs that aim to foster local talent underpins this collaborative approach.”
Marriott International recently rolled out its very successful ‘Tahseen’ program, a unique hospitality management development plan focused on fast tracking the next generation of Saudi leaders providing them a springboard to launch successful careers within the hospitality industry. The students get full exposure to the business of running a hotel resulting in a managerial opportunity. Graduates experience six months of cross-exposure to all departments and 6 to 12 months of departmental specialization. The program is run in partnership with Cornell University and 32 participants were selected into the inaugural batch in September 2017.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the second largest number of hotel rooms under construction in the Middle East and Africa region. The first Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference is validation of the progress the Kingdom is making in regards to hospitality and highlights the country’s focus on this important sector,” Kyriakidis concluded.
Marriott International operates 9 brands in Saudi Arabia including Aloft, Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Le Méridien, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Hotels, Residence Inn, The Ritz-Carlton and Sheraton. The company will debut 3 new brands including Autograph Collection, Westin and Element while consolidating its existing portfolio of brands in the country.
Marriott International is the largest international operator in Middle East and Africa. The Hotel giant has a strong footprint of 23 operating hotels and more than 6700 rooms in Saudi Arabia with a robust pipeline of 29 hotels and over 5700 rooms in the Kingdom. The company has presence in 9 cities across the country. Riyadh remains the largest market for the company in the country with 8 operating hotels and 15 in the pipeline. The company will also enter Unaizah, King Abdullah Economic City, Half Moon Bay, Yanbu and Jubail and will open its largest hotel in the country, Four Points by Sheraton Makkah Al Naseem with 1172 rooms in 2018 further giving an impetus to religious travel.