1.7 million jobs in tourism by 2020
1.7 million jobs in tourism by 2020
The report pointed out that job opportunities in the tourism sector will reach 1.7 million by 2020, which is the same as the rates of direct and indirect jobs in the labor market for the tourism and other sectors that are related to, or that benefit from, tourism such as restaurants, transportation, building and constructing tourism facilities, gifts shops, service providers in tourist locations as well as other jobs that are generated from tourism.
Tourism is considered among the most important economic sectors in terms of providing job opportunities, and second in terms of Saudization.
According to studies conducted by the SCTNH, job opportunities are expected to reach this figure (in the tourism and other related sectors), if sufficient support is extended to investments in tourism through approving rules and tourist funding programs. Jobs will result from the expected growth of tourism and sectors related to it.
Job opportunities in tourism reached more than 751,000 last year, with Saudis forming 27.1 percent of the total number of workers in the sector. Tourism is the second most important economic sector after banking in terms of Saudization.
Coffee shops and restaurants have the largest share of job opportunities with 48 percent of the total number of workers in the tourism sector, followed by transportation with 26 percent, accommodation, entertainment and tourist attractions, while travels agencies come at the bottom of the list with 2 percent.
On the global level, tourism today is the biggest service sector with 40 percent of global services trading, and 11 percent of the value of global exports from goods and services.
It’s also the first source of foreign currency with 38 percent, achieving an advanced place between other economic sectors as a major source of income, exports, and attracting investments, while raising living standards by providing hundreds of thousands of job opportunities, in countries that give priority to the tourist sector. Tourism is expected to provide more than 337 million job opportunities worldwide by 2020.
The tourism sector has a great effect on all sectors of the national economy, as the impact of tourism isn’t limited to related tourism sectors such as travel agencies, land, marine and airports, hotels and residential units, restaurants and rest areas. Rather, it expands to include a large number of economic activities that are encouraged by the tourism sector such as transport, consumer goods stores, traditional artifacts, agricultural activities, food industries, museums and urbanization, conferences and shopping malls, in addition to other activities that are related to tourism.
Decisions and regulations issued recently by the commission, including the funding program for tourist and hotel projects, will contribute to increasing hotel investments in various parts of the Kingdom and the establishment of tourist projects in the entertainment sector and projects to invest in national heritage sites. This will also provide job opportunities for citizens.
On Thai island’s Phuket, hotel guests check out of plastic waste
- Hotel employees and local school children take part in regular beach clean-ups
- Hotels are turning their attention to single-use plastics amid growing public awareness about damage to oceans
KUALA LUMPUR: For the millions of sun seekers who head to Thailand’s resort island of Phuket each year in search of stunning beaches and clear waters, cutting down on waste may not be a top priority.
But the island’s hotel association is hoping to change that with a series of initiatives aimed at reducing the use of plastic, tackling the garbage that washes up on its shores, and educating staff, local communities and tourists alike.
“Hotels unchecked are huge consumers and users of single-use plastics,” said Anthony Lark, president of the Phuket Hotels Association and managing director of the Trisara resort.
“Every resort in Southeast Asia has a plastic problem. Until we all make a change, it’s going to get worse and worse,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Established in 2016 and with about 70 members — including all Phuket’s five-star hotels — the association has put tackling environmental issues high on its to-do list.
Last year the group surveyed members’ plastics use and then began looking at ways to shrink their plastics footprint.
As part of this, three months ago the association’s hotels committed to phase out, or put plans in place to stop using plastic water bottles and plastic drinking straws by 2019.
About five years ago, Lark’s own resort with about 40 villas used to dump into landfill about 250,000 plastic water bottles annually. It has now switched to reusable glass bottles.
The hotel association also teamed up with the documentary makers of “A Plastic Ocean,” and now show an edited version with Thai subtitles for staff training.
Meanwhile hotel employees and local school children take part in regular beach clean-ups.
“The association is involved in good and inclusive community-based action, rather than just hotel general managers getting together for a drink,” Lark said.
Phuket, like Bali in Indonesia and Boracay in the Philippines, has become a top holiday destination in Southeast Asia — and faces similar challenges.
Of a similar size to Singapore and at the geographical heart of Southeast Asia, Phuket is easily accessible to tourists from China, India, Malaysia and Australia.
With its white sandy beaches and infamous nightlife, Phuket attracts about 10 million visitors each year, media reports say, helping make the Thai tourism industry one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lackluster economy.
Popular with holiday makers and retirees, Phuket — like many other Southeast Asian resorts — must contend with traffic congestion, poor water management and patchy waste collection services.
Despite these persistent problems, hotels in the region need to follow Phuket’s lead and step up action to cut their dependence on plastics, said Susan Ruffo, a managing director at the US-based non-profit group Ocean Conservancy.
Worldwide, between 8 million and 15 million tons of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, UN Environment says.
Five Asian countries — China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand — account for up to 60 percent of plastic waste leaking into the seas, an Ocean Conservancy study found.
“As both creators and ‘victims’ of waste, the hotel industry has a lot to gain by making efforts to control their own waste and helping their guests do the same,” Ruffo said.
“We are seeing more and more resorts and chains start to take action, but there is a lot more to be done, particularly in the area of ensuring that hotel waste is properly collected and recycled,” she added.
Data on how much plastic is used by hotels and the hospitality industry is hard to find. But packaging accounts for up to 40 percent of an establishment’s waste stream, according to a 2011 study by The Travel Foundation, a UK-based charity.
Water bottles, shampoo bottles, toothbrushes and even food delivered by room service all tend to use throw-away plastics.
In the past, the hospitality industry has looked at how to use less water and energy, said Von Hernandez, global coordinator at the “Break Free From Plastic” movement in Manila.
Now hotels are turning their attention to single-use plastics amid growing public awareness about damage to oceans.
“A lot of hotels are doing good work around plastics,” adopting measures to eliminate or shrink their footprint, said Hernandez.
But hotels in Southeast Asia often have to contend with poor waste management and crumbling infrastructure.
“I’ve seen resorts in Bali that pay staff to rake the beach every morning to get rid of plastic, but then they either dig a hole, and bury it or burn it on the beach,” said Ruffo. “Those are not effective solutions, and can lead to other issues.”
Hotels should look at providing reusable water containers and refill stations, giving guests metal or bamboo drinking straws and bamboo toothbrushes, and replacing single-use soap and shampoo containers with refillable dispensers, experts said.
“Over time, this could actually lower their operational costs — it could give them savings,” said Hernandez. “It could help change mindsets of people, so that when they go back to their usual lives, they have a little bit of education.”
Back in Phuket, the hotel association is exploring ways to cut plastic waste further, and will host its first regional forum on environmental awareness next month.
The hope is that what the group has learned over the last two years can be implemented at other Southeast Asian resorts and across the wider community.
“If the 20,000 staff in our hotels go home and educate mum and dad about recycling or reusing, it’s going to make a big difference,” said Lark.