AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator, has held a ceremony celebrating the launch of the second edition of its Saudi Management Training Program (SMTP), a hospitality management program tailor-made for Saudi nationals in order to train and prepare them for managerial positions within the industry. The latest round of SMTP is the first to include Saudi women, who constitute the majority of this year’s 21 participants.
The program was designed by the Group’s dedicated training academy for the region, AccorHotels Académie Middle East, with the full endorsement of the Saudi Ministry of Tourism through the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH). The first edition of SMTP, launched in 2013 and completed last year, culminated in the successful accreditation of 13 graduates who were recognized as Hospitality Managers within AccorHotels.
The program’s curriculum, spread out over a period of 15 months, includes an academic learning section complemented by practical training sessions. The first stage focuses on the development of basic hospitality skills, while the second enables participants to acquire crucial managerial competences.
The ceremony, held at Novotel Al-Anoud Hotel in Riyadh, was attended by AccorHotels’ top executives in the region, senior members of the SCTH, and H.E. Bertrand Besancenot, French Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Olivier Granet, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels Middle East, said: “We began this program with the aim of encouraging Saudi nationals to enter the hospitality industry, and with the promise of nurturing their careers within our future management teams. I am particularly proud that we have now extended this promise to Saudi women, who form an integral part of the Kingdom’s sustainable growth. This initiative is a perfect translation of AccorHotels’ philosophy and our commitment to develop the local human resources of the communities in which we operate.”
Salah OUMOUDEN, VP Operation, AccorHotels KSA & Egypt, emphasized that “Accorhotels as a leading hospitality group has a responsibility toward local communities. We are aiming to be a role model for our Partners in term of ethics, commitment and values. Accorhotels in Saudi Arabia is planning to become the most valued company displaying the best performance in its segment while simultaneously showing due respect for people & culture “
Amar Belgat, Director of Human Resources & Training at AccorHotels Egypt & KSA , added: “As representatives of a leading international hotel group in Saudi Arabia, we are committed to not only creating more job opportunities for Saudi nationals, but also empowering young talents, enhancing their skills and helping them move up in their hospitality careers. We are pleased to report that about 30 per cent of AccorHotels’ staff in the country is now made up of Saudis whom we invest in and train directly, with the number of Saudi women employees also increasing steadily.”
AccorHotels has a strong presence in Saudi Arabia, with a network of more than 15 properties in operation with over 4,500 opened rooms, and close to 35 properties under development, bringing an additional 9,000 rooms. The Group’s Saudi portfolio, encompassing 50 hotels in total, spans a wide range of world-class brands, from luxury Sofitel, upscale Pullman and Majlis Grand Mercure, to midscale Novotel and Mercure, and the economy ibis.