Saudi Arabia: A report by The Red Sea Development Company has released findings of a study into the perceptions of Saudi youth towards the tourism and hospitality industries, with two thirds believing it will be a key provider of employment for Saudi nationals.
The research is based on more than 850 face-to-face interviews with young Saudis aged between 16-34, and parent influencers defined as those with children aged between 14-24.
The study found that young Saudis are less interested in careers in more traditional sectors such as petrochemicals and oil and gas, but favour those jobs within industries that align with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
91 per cent were interested in pursuing a career in tourism compared to 77 per cent in petrochemicals. Two thirds (69 per cent) and six in 10 (59 per cent) respectively of young Saudis and their parents believe tourism and hospitality will become more important for the economy over the next decade.
“We are only at the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s exciting transition to a new and diversified economy and future generations have a chance to play their part,” said John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Company.
“A career in tourism or hospitality offers a range of opportunities like no other. From managing an international hotel group, to becoming a world class chef or entrepreneur, the sector has something for everyone. The Red Sea Development Company is at the heart of this emerging industry and once completed our destination will support 70,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs providing opportunities to people throughout the country,” he added.
69 per cent of young Saudis believe that expanding tourism and hospitality would provide jobs for Saudi nationals, with over eight in 10 believing that a career will give them the salary and resources they expect to sustain themselves.
Factors such as salary (33 per cent), job security (22 per cent) and opportunities for personal growth (19 per cent) were ranked as key considerations when reviewing jobs.
“Our people are at the heart of our business and will be essential to the development of our ambitious destination, therefore it is encouraging to see so many young Saudis acknowledging the benefits that a career in this dynamic sector has to offer them,” said Pagano.
The full report, The Future Faces of Tourism, can be found here.
The Red Sea Development Company is a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. It was established to drive the development of The Red Sea Project, a luxury tourism destination that will include hotels, residential properties, leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities, as well as supporting infrastructure that emphasises renewable energy and water conservation and re-use.