Responding to the rapid growth of tourism and the hospitality industry’s role in economic growth in Saudi Arabia and witnessing the growing demand for qualified graduates in tourism, hotel management, archeology, heritage management and tourism management, Prince Sultan Bin Salman in 2000 established the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA).
Five years later, King Saud University established its College of Tourism and Archaeology in 2005, and in June 2009, KSU launched its Prince Sultan Bin Salman Chair for Developing National Human Resources in Tourism and Archaeology.
The Chair quickly achieved a distinguished status among KSU’s research chairs, complementing the university’s scope of research in all scientific fields and allowing researchers to achieve distinction in research, development and the knowledge-based economy.
The competitiveness edge
The Prince Sultan Bin Salman Chair for Developing National Human Resources in Tourism and Archaeology plays a pivotal role in developing national expertise in all areas related to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA). Those include tourism and hotel management, the administration of archaeological resources, tourist guidance and archaeological digs, and the repair and maintenance of archaeological artifacts.
The Chair also empowers all social and economic sectors to be more competititve and provides an atmosphere conducive for faculty and staff to improve their skills, in part by attracting distinguished international expertise in the Chair’s fields.
The Chair’s vision and mission
- To provide leadership in research and practical training
- To provide an environment that encourages scientific research and bolsters the Kingdom’s scientific standing and sustainable development
- To bolster human resource skills and the scientific research apparatus in tourism and archaeology
The Chair’s objectives
- To adopt quality initiatives for scientific research and studies in tourism and archaeology and to support these studies and the research
- To create appropriate opportunities to support and evaluate rehabilitation and training programs in tourism and archaeology
- To develop scientific knowledge and skills of national cadres
- To present studies and consultations in tourism and archaeology
- To address issues affecting in tourism and archaeology
The Chair’s mission
- To generate research and high-caliber scientific studies
- To conduct training programs, workshops, seminars and conferences in the chair specialty
- To implement specialized local and scientific services in tourism and archaeology
- To engage local and international experts and consultants to fulfill the chair’s objectives
In cooperation with KSU’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, the Chair held the second meeting on Tourism and Hospitality Human Resources in the Touristic Sector on May 2010.
The meeting was titled ”Toward Empowering Touristic Human Resources and Improving their Professional Capability” and included academic experts from Malaysia, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The topics included:
- Human resources and their leading role in developing the tourism industry
- New directions in human resource strategies
- The importance of teaching and training in improving the quality of the touristic sector
- Analyzing means of evaluating the impact of training and its applications in touristic sectors.
- Occupational distinction skills in the tourism industry
The meeting also included two panel discussions about establishing touristic facilities (the reality and aspirations) and the business tourism industry in the Kingdom (a promising investment).
Among the meeting’s goals were:
- Highlight the challenges facing the administration and development of tourism human resources in light of rapid developments and learn how to deal with them
- Confirm the role of human resources management in tourism facilities in developing competitive skills in the work force.
- Identify general concepts in the area human resource economics, such as human capital, knowledge capital, performance criteria, efficiency and quality.
- Assist human resource management in tourism facilities to adopt appropriate methods to achieve quality and elevate workers.
- Identify the best modern strategies in vocational training to develop human resources.
- Contribute to raising the efficiency of workers employed in the tourism and hospitality fields.
- Assess the economic return expected as a result of the effective investment in human resources.
Axes of the accompanying workshop:
The main axes of the workshop were:
- The importance of strategic planning and the role of scientific establishments in developing and improving the performance of workers in the tourism sector.
- New directions in human resource strategic planning
- Role of modern technology in the development of the human resource concept.
- Aiming for a distinguished knowledge economy, and the grasp of the most important concepts pertaining to the economics of human resources development, including human capital, knowledge capital, efficiency and quality
- Role of training in improving quality in the tourism sector
- The most important organizational obstacles facing public sector facilities when they try to attract graduates
- Defining what obstacles face organizing bodies trying to select targets for development
- Defining the role of human resources in employing modern technologies to develop, train and nurture citizens to work professionally in the tourism and hotel fields
Research carried out by the Chair
- Empowering workers as an administrative strategy in developing human resources in the tourism sector
- Role of the Human Resources Development Fund in empowering human resources in tourism
- Availability of technical and scientific skills among workers in the tourism sector
- The experiment to develop labor in Saudi Arabia: the reality, the aspirations and the challenges
- The distinguished skills of human resources in the tourism sector
-Developing the performance of managers in Saudi hotels. Application to third-class Category B hotels in Riyadh.
- Developing human resources in the Jordanian tourism sector
The Chair participated in the travel and tourism investment meetings held in Riyadh exhibition center. It presented a lecture titled “Cultural Tourism in Italy” by Stefano Bonizato in 2010 in the College of Tourism and Archaeology, and he related the Italian experience in cultural tourism. Among the areas he focused on were open museums, archeological sites, displays and promotion methods.
Studies and consultation work
A contract of services with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) was signed in the presence of the committee chairman and the former KSU rector. The contract stipulates that the Chair will implement a plan to develop jobs in the sector of archaeology and museums. The plan is being implemented.
An agreement is being worked out between SCTA and companies in the hotel and tourism offices sector, which is arranging for 11 training sessions.
Preparations are under way, in cooperation with the committee and companies in the hotel and tourism offices sector, for workshops addressing employment opportunities for College of Tourism graduates in antiquities description and classification.
The Chair organized a number of specialized training sessions in tourism and hotel management and tourism guidance for College of Tourism students. The training sessions covered German language, distinguished tourism service, agent relations, geophysics and its applications in archaeological sites, and preparing new graduates for the job market.