Tourism awards welcome nominations
Tourism awards welcome nominations
In this third edition of the award contest, SETA added categories aimed at recognizing individual contributions to the tourism sector.
The 2013 SETAs have already received over 200 nominees across its 36 categories on its website.
“The growing number of nominations and the increasing number of votes are a clear indication that the tourism and accommodation industry and the general public recognize the benefit of the SETAs,” said Barry Gray, SETAs managing consultant. This year the Tourism People category has been expanded to six sub-categories, covering all members of staff within the tourism industries, such as Best Tour Guide, Reception Professional of the Year, Tourism Sales Professional of the Year, Best Young Chef and others.
“As in previous years, one of the most hotly contested categories is the Accommodation category, but close behind are Restaurants and Tourism Attractions,” said Gray.
Gray said last year nearly 110,000 votes were cast. “This indicates that the awards are a valued recognition of above-average performance and improvements in the standard of operations.”
An online nomination can be done by either a company, an individual member of staff working in a tourism-related company or a customer of one of the companies.
“Nominated companies or individuals should generate votes on the website from their customers. Nominees with the highest number of votes will be asked to submit a detailed nomination pack for review by the panel of judges,” said Gray.
SETA’s judging panel will comprise of 12 experts involved in the tourism and hospitality sectors, such as academics, consultants, marketers and others with specialist skills and experience.
“The judges have been invited from international, regional and Saudi Arabian companies. One of the elements we are most proud of about the SETAs is the integrity of the judging. It has never been called into question and we intend to maintain this reputation,” said Gray.
The nominations are open until Feb. 15 to both Saudis and expats, “but they are mainly for companies. Preference will be given to Saudi nationals in the ‘People’ category,” said Gray. Voting continues until Feb. 28. “The Saudi Excellence in Tourism Awards are another step in our continuous objective of responsible development of our country’s tourism offerings,” said Prince Sultan bin Salman, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) that supervises the award contest.
“The SETAs are aimed at recognizing not only category winners, but everyone who has contributed to the development of our tourism industry.” Announcement of the winners of the 2013 SETAs will be on April 2 at a gala ceremony in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia witnesses unprecedented achievements one year after MBS became crown prince
- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the architect of a wide-ranging plan for social and economic reforms known as Saudi Vision 2030
- Vision 2030 seeks to make Saudi Arabia non-oil based economy and the large developments at the Red Sea, Qiddiya and, NEOM, are part of the efforts to lure in investors and promote tourism sector.
JEDDAH: June 21 marked one year of Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia.Since assuming the role, the crown prince, fondly known as MBS, has been working for the socioeconomic transformation of the Kingdom.
He is the architect of a wide-ranging plan for social and economic reforms known as Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy of the Kingdom and reduce its dependence on oil income.
Among the reforms envisaged in the Vision 2030 plan are the reopening of cinemas and allowing both sexes to attend concerts.
Another major development is the lifting of a ban on women driving. From June 24, women in Saudi Arabia will be able to take the wheel. The crown prince’s Vision 2030 reform plan seeks to elevate women to nearly one-third of the workforce, up from the current 22 percent.
In a statement issued to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that as the architect of Saudi Vision 2030, the crown prince was inspiring the country’s youth and introducing structural changes to the Saudi economy and society.
Al-Othaimeen said that in one year he had taken many important initiatives at the national and international level and reinforced Saudi Arabia’s leading role in defending and supporting issues related to the wider Muslim world.
In this area, the OIC chief said, the most notable achievement was the creation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.
Vision 2030 seeks to boost the Saudi non-oil based economy, and the large developments at the Red Sea, Qiddiya and NEOM, the futuristic mega city, are part of efforts to attract investors and promote the Kingdom’s tourism sector.
Saudi Minister of Telecommunications and IT Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha said that the Kingdom is geared up to achieve the goals of socioeconomic transformation as envisaged in Vision 2030. He said that during the last year Saudi Arabia had achieved great success in this ambition.
Civil Services Minister Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan said that last year was characterized by many achievements. The Kingdom, he said, witnessed the continuation of the successful implementation of the crown prince’s Vision 2030, which covers all aspects of life.
Saudi Education Minister Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa said: “Our country is looking forward to a bright future in line with an ambitious vision. It is standing at the threshold of great transformation.”
Saudi Arabia has also witnessed several unprecedented developments since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began implementing his reform plans. In a bid to ensure transparency in the financial system to promote international investments, the Kingdom launched a drive to root out corruption from society without discrimination.
Saudi Justice Minister Dr. Waleed bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, who is also president of the Supreme Judicial Council, said that the crown prince is a leader whose impact has surpassed local and regional levels. He has emerged as one of the most influential figures at the global level, he said.
Islamic Affairs Minister Dr. Abdulatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ashiekh said: “The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is a comprehensive national development program that seeks to achieve prosperity for the country. The crown prince has worked very hard to achieve many goals in record time.
“The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has received a great deal of support and attention from the crown prince to help fight extremist and deviant ideologies.”
The minister said that these efforts come within the framework of Vision 2030 to eradicate all sources of corruption.
MBS’s history of philanthropic initiatives has earned him many awards. In 2011, he established the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which enables young Saudis to learn, develop and progress in the fields of business, literature, culture, science and technology, and sociology.
“The crown prince’s initiatives in relief and humanitarian work have been admired and praised by the UN and its related organizations,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) and an adviser to the royal court.
Al-Rabeeah said that the crown prince had allocated $66.7 million to fight the cholera epidemic in Yemen, in addition to his efforts to help the needy throughout the world without discrimination.
He said that the crown prince had worked hard to build a new phase of progress and prosperity for the country with the help of the youth who are the core of the Kingdom’s future.
In recent years, the crown prince has become the government’s face of reform, modernization and change. In a country where about 60 percent of the population is under 30, the young crown prince is widely seen as an icon in the push toward socioeconomic reforms.
The crown prince also heads the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which aims to establish a seamless mechanism to achieve Vision 2030 goals.