New Saudisation figures have been shared for the Kingdom’s hospitality sector. The industry has hit 21.7 percent Saudisation, with particular successes when it comes to hiring local women.
The Saudi Gazette reported that the number of employees in the accommodation and food services activities in Saudi Arabia, who are subjected to the social insurance rules and regulations, has reached, by the end of the first quarter of 2023, to about 694,000 workers.
The number of foreign workers in the sector of accommodation and hotel services reached about 543,200 workers, versus about 151,000 Saudi workers.
As for women in the hotel sector, there are about 78,060 female workers, constituting 11.3 per cent of the total employees.
Saudi women acquired the highest percentage in the sector with 92.6 per cent, as their number reached 72,270, versus 5,793 foreign female workers.
Saudisation is vital to motivate future hospitality staff, say experts
Saudisation – government-backed targets to hire more locals – tends to be a divisive topic in hospitality. While everyone agrees employing more Saudi locals is a good thing, some argue hiring for ‘targets over talent’ is the wrong way to go about it.
Localisation efforts should be pushed even further, say experts, not to reach a bigger number, but to create additional inspirational stories for other young hoteliers.
Earlier this year at the Hospitality3.0 Conference, four leaders in hospitality, F&B and asset management discussed how to attract and retain Saudis.
Bastien Blanc, board member, TroKadero Management said: “A smile is the cheapest investment, that’s true in restaurants and hotels, but more vocational training is needed. The educational system in KSA is not growing at the speed of the hospitality sector. Hotels and restaurants are simply opening more quickly than educational systems can provide. We need to develop that natural hospitality to an industrial level.
“Vocational training is what creates the next generation of talent. Right now, Saudisation [in hospitality] is a lot about getting ‘into the green.’ My view is, why stop there?
“The aim should be to develop as many talents as possible who can become an inspiration to others. We need to motivate people to join. Inspiration creates motivation. The more you bring more Saudis and develop their talents, the more will follow.”