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Dubai: As part of its mission to diversify the national economy away from dependence on oil, the Saudi authorities are now actively promoting an entrepreneurial spirit among young people, especially those who wish to work in the tourism and hotel industry sector.

To further this agenda, academic institutions collaborate with the private sector to organize events and activities that will help incubate the startup culture and grow local industries.

Indeed, one example is the new collaboration between Effat University in Saudi Arabia and Curtin Hospitality. This partnership aims to provide the opportunity for young people to participate in training sessions, hackathons, and social coding events that bring together computer programmers and other developers to improve or build new software systems, while also providing support to students who wish to start their own businesses.

As a hybrid operator in Environment, Society and Governance, we will focus on our key areas – supporting the local community and the younger generation of players in the hotel industry. In addition, we will go local in all areas, such as hiring and training local talent to drive innovation,” said Marlus Nippenberg, CEO of Kerten Hospitality, to Arab News. ESG refers to the non-financial environmental, social and governance factors and objectives that influence business decisions.

The goal is “to stimulate initiatives that will enhance the spirit of entrepreneurship by launching and introducing new business opportunities that will enable students to launch, manage and grow their businesses.”

The hospitality industry is at the forefront of these fees, but other sectors, such as technology and the arts, will also benefit (photo provided)

Innovation plays a very important role in this dynamic as it contributes to the realization of the country’s tourism aspirations. »

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan for social reform and economic diversification aims to increase investment in the leisure, hospitality and tourism sectors. Its goal is to attract at least 100 million visitors to the kingdom each year by the end of the decade.

Investments in the country’s tourism industry are expected to exceed $1 billion (US$1 = €0.95) over the next 10 years. To achieve this, the authorities ensure the creation of an investment-friendly environment and encourage local entrepreneurs to take the lead in developing these industries. Kerten Hospitality offers to share her experience and expertise to help them succeed.

“We are at the beginning of an ecosystem that will become independent, thanks to an interconnected network of actors and performers from many industries in hospitality,” Knippenberg declared.

“We are here to collaborate, adapt our knowledge to the local environment and work with entities and organizations that are moving in the same direction, at the same speed and with the same desire to reach 2030 as accelerators of growth. Instead of lagging behind in development.”

According to her, it is very important to invest time and resources in an enthusiastic young generation, full of new ideas who will benefit from the long-term growth and prosperity of the Kingdom.

Hospitality is in the tourism sector, and developing human capital as well as focusing on youth will be of paramount importance, according to Marlus Nippenberg, CEO of Kerten Hospitality (photo provided)

In fact, 70% of Saudi Arabia’s population is under the age of 30, according to a report released in April by regional digital marketing firm, Global Media Insight. Thus, this demographic group must become the driving force in efforts to achieve the goals of Vision 2030.

Nippenberg declared that “hospitality is present in the tourism sector, and human capital development as well as a focus on youth will be of paramount importance.”

This is where we want to collaborate with Effat, in order to support this desire to move closer to achieving this mission. »

Such partnerships are necessary as the Kingdom’s hospitality industry is in the establishment stage. So, by working with Effat, Nippenberg hopes his company will help provide young Saudis with the work experience they need to get started.

“This is why we hope to motivate young people to contribute to the hotel space through the experience gained during their experiences with our global team,” she added.

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