Google releases study quantifying economic impact of digital maps in KSA

Sheikh Zayed Mosque Street View.
Updated 21 October 2017
0

Google releases study quantifying economic impact of digital maps in KSA

A Google-commissioned study conducted by marketing research firm AlphaBeta quantified the economic impact of services like Google Maps and Google Earth by looking at the benefits and value geospatial technology brought to consumers, businesses and society in 2016 in Saudi Arabia.
According to the study, modern mapping services have the potential to unleash consumer benefits worth over SR5.2 billion ($1.4 billion) per year by enabling people to:
l Travel faster: Digital maps reduced travel time by 16 percent on average in Saudi Arabia, placing the value of time saved at SR11 billion.
l Save fuel: By reducing travel time, digital maps helped save around 29 liters of fuel per car, worth SR23 in Saudi Arabia per year, that is 2.5 billion liters of fuel, worth SR1.9 billion in total.
l Be safer: Around 41 percent of digital map users in the Kingdom state it helps them identify security facilities (such as police stations).
l Speed up shopping: Saudi consumers save over 110 million hours per year from more efficient purchasing decisions. The value of time saved is SR4 billion (based on local wage rates).
“We want to help people in the region understand what Google Maps can do for them. To do that, we need to understand maps today and the impact they have on people’s lives, which is why we worked with AlphaBeta to conduct this study. While the results reveal great benefits for consumers, businesses, and society, there remains more potential to be unlocked by geospatial technology,” said Selim Edde, head of government relations and public policy at Google.
The report also outlines three recommendations key to tapping into the full potential of geospatial services:
l Governments can enable the promotion, adoption and implementation of the emerging applications of geospatial technology and data by adopting policies that support the collection, sharing, and use of geospatial data and services.
l Academia and civil society organizations can utilize geospatial technology to improve the efficiency of their major activities. Some applications include city planning, tracking environmental pollution, and maintaining important information on health and diseases.
l Businesses could increase their investment in and use of geospatial services to enhance the value and productivity of their business, attract new customers and boost sales.


Marriott fetes first students trained under Tahseen

The first batch of Tahseen leadership graduates at a function in Riyadh on Wednesday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 25 September 2018
0

Marriott fetes first students trained under Tahseen

Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain, celebrated the graduation of its first intake of students for Tahseen, a hospitality leadership training program to develop local Saudi talent within the industry. Created in partnership with Cornell University, Tahseen is focused on fast-tracking the next generation of hospitality leaders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by providing them with operational experience and a springboard to accelerate in leadership roles within the industry.

The company on Wednesday graduated its inaugural batch at a ceremony hosted by Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director of Marriott International Middle East and Africa in the presence of Dr. Bruce Tracey, Professor at Cornell University, and the graduating class.

Speaking at the ceremony, Kyriakidis said: “Marriott International is a company that believes in putting people first and we are committed to giving our associates world-class training and the opportunity to grow and reach their potential personally and professionally. Our vision is to develop future Saudi leaders, empowered with the knowledge, skills and opportunities to be successful, and provide them with a fast track to management roles such as general managers.

"Building a sustainable and robust hospitality education program like Tahseen for our Saudi nationals, which nurtures and builds talent among the youth, is indeed key to our success.”

David Leman, the chief human resources officer, Middle East and Africa for Marriott International, said: “Over the past four decades we have worked hard to consciously develop local talent and prepare them to become future leaders in hospitality. Today we employ more than 5,000 associates across our hotels in the Kingdom, with almost 35 percent of them being Saudi nationals.

"We see an opportunity to strategically develop this further and are delighted to have partnered with Cornell, the university with the best track record globally for hospitality education.”

Tahseen was launched by Marriott International in Saudi Arabia in 2017 and the graduates have received encouraging results, paving the way for a wider rollout of the program in 2019. A total of 11 hotels participated in the inaugural program with tremendous support from all of the owners of the participating hotels, developing dedicated Saudi nationals into department heads.

Saudi Arabia is a strategic growth market for Marriott International and the company is committed to supporting and enhancing the tourism industry in the Kingdom with Tahseen. The highly individualized program created in partnership with Cornell University focuses on practical application across all departments as well as an in-depth understanding of leadership skills led by teams across Marriott’s participating hotels over a course of 12 to 18 months.

In addition, participants obtained first-hand experience through the Cornell e-learning platforms and a university-led development program tailored specifically for the Saudi nationals.

During the graduation ceremony, all participants received their Tahseen diplomas as well as a certificate in hospitality management from Cornell University, along with their new employment contracts from their respective hotels.

While there are many success stories, some remarkable results include candidates such as:

· Dareen Al-Zaabi, who will take on the role of assistant conference and catering sales manager at the Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh

· Omar Ibrahim Trmesani, who will continue his career as a director of loss prevention and human resources manager at the Sheraton, Jeddah

· Malak Abdulqadir Farhat, who will continue as a junior sous chef in the culinary team at the Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah

· Meshal Mahdali, who will continue his career as sales manager at the Marriott Riyadh

Tahseen is a program that falls under Marriott International’s new sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, which guides how the company makes a positive and sustainable impact wherever it does business. From empowerment opportunities to sustainable hotel development, the platform is designed to foster business growth while balancing the needs of associates, customers, owners, the environment and communities.

One of the priority areas, or “coordinates,” of Serve 360 is Empower Through Opportunity. Tahseen is a program that directly supports and brings this vision to life.

Marriott International is the largest international hotel operator in Saudi Arabia with a strong footprint of 25 operating hotels and more than 8,000 rooms across nine brands including the Ritz-Carlton, Le Meridien, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Aloft, Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton and Residence Inn by Marriott. With another 28 hotels in the pipeline, the company will add nearly 5,000 rooms, debuting new brands including Autograph Collection, Delta Hotels, Element and Westin.

Marriott International is currently recruiting candidates internally and externally for the second intake of Tahseen, which begins in January 2019.