At a recent conference in Dubai, Secretary-General of the Higher Commission for Tourism Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz commented that the growing tourism sector has the potential to become an industry with an annual turnover of U.S.$22 billion within 15 years, and that the Kingdom is working to develop a tourist sector that will create 2.3 million jobs. He predicted 44 million tourists a year in 20 years' time, as compared to 20.8 million in 2001.
A school for hotel management is scheduled to be set up in Jeddah, with the cooperation of Swiss experts. It will initially enroll 100 students, and offer two levels of courses: six months' training in specific areas such as food and beverage, or housekeeping, or front office; and a full three-year course involving both theoretical and practical lessons. The local partner in the project is the Saudi French Company for Hotel Management, whose chairman, Moutaz Kayal, explained in a press statement that demand for trained Saudis in the hospitality sector has continued to grow as new hotels spring up all over the Kingdom, especially in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah.