Swiss institute gets top marks for training in hospitality sector
Saudi student enrollment at the Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) has increased substantially, especially in hospitality courses, following the Saudi Ministry of Education?s recognition of the Swiss institute.
?Saudi Arabia is the largest hospitality market in the Gulf Cooperation Council. There is huge demand for Saudi hospitality professionals in the industry due to the restrictions placed on the number of expatriates who can work in the country,? said Michael Huckaby, interim CEO of GIHE.
?We are honored to have GIHE recognized by the Saudi Ministry of Education. The support received through government scholarships has boosted the number Saudi nationals seeking to attain an education in hospitality management at Glion,? Huckaby said in a statement issued here recently.
He added that for many international hotel chains, Saudi Arabia is a strategic base in the region because of the large number of tourists visiting the country every year.
According to a report by Alpen Capital, tourist arrivals are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4 percent between 2012 and 2022, driven by strong growth across all sectors in the Kingdom, with occupancies set to jump from 67.5 percent in 2011 to 74.2 percent by 2016.
?We hope to generate increased awareness of the benefits of working in the industry and the growth and employability perspective for our graduates. Our management program is highly regarded by the hospitality industry and data suggests that 13.6 percent of our students in the management program hold positions in sales or marketing upon graduation,? Huckaby highlighted.
Recently, representatives from the Saudi Embassy in France, Abdulmohsin Al Swailem, director of academic affairs from the bureau of culture and Said Mazloum, academic affairs manager visited Glion and met with Christian Daujat, Glion?s director of academic affairs and other school officials, the CEO revealed. He added that the purpose of their visit was to learn more about the quality of studies, new program offerings, learning environment and career orientation that Saudi Arabian students can receive through Glion?s international hospitality programs.
Students at Glion receive a Swiss model of hospitality education that combines theory, practice and internships, allowing them to develop concrete skills honed in real-world situations for a promising managerial career in the hospitality industry.
Huckaby also maintained that reputed brands such as Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and Hyatt, visit Glion every year to recruit students.
In 2012, 86 percent of Glion?s students received one or more job offers even before they graduated, he added.