Almosafer, the leading omni-channel travel brand in Saudi Arabia, yesterday celebrated the official launch of “Almosafer Academy”, a 10-week specialized recruitment programme focused on attracting Saudi’s multi-talented youth and shaping a new generation of male and female travel advisors. The inauguration ceremony was held at a state-of-the-art facility in Riyadh and was attended by senior officials from the company as well as several VIPs and stakeholders.
As part of its commitment to expand its footprint in Saudi Arabia and revolutionize the travel booking experience in the Kingdom, Almosafer is moving towards a seamless omni-channel approach offering customers the chance to get inspired, search flights & hotels and book across multiple channels. With the roll out of 25 new interactive stores in key cities across KSA by the end of this year, Almosafer is utilizing the Academy to equip passionate KSA nationals with the skills and industry knowledge they need to succeed and grow as travel consultants within the company. Forty eight Saudi recruits from key cities across the kingdom such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah, will commence the programme this month with a female to male ratio of 56% vs. 44%.
During the programme, candidates will be exposed to a wealth of knowledge, insights and guidance to develop a deeper understanding of the consumer and the travel industry and cultivate skills ranging from sales and customer experience to operations and leadership. The programme will entail various familiarization trips to top destinations identified by Almosafer as well as dedicated destination training session delivered by Tourism Boards and travel specialists including VisitBritain, Dubai Tourism, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Azerbaijan Tourism Board, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authorityas well as Experience Hub- the trade and promotion arm of Yas Island Abu Dhabi.
Fahad Mohammed Al Obailan, VP Retail of Almosafersaid: “At a time when global travel brands are scaling back on a brick and mortar presence, it’s very exciting to have the opportunity to give the brand a physical presence that works in perfect synergy with our other channels. With 50 new retail outlets scheduled to open in key cities across the Kingdom by Q1 2020, we believe that having the option of booking travel face-to-face with a specialized travel advisor will enrich customers’ experience and help them find tailored packages to suit their every need. Almosafer Academy is an integral part of our retail transformation as we are immersing Saudi talent in intensive and specialized training that will give them the knowledge and skills to help customers make the right travel decisions. It is no longer simply about the booking but providing customers with the insight and inspiration to make the first part of the travel journey as exciting as the rest.
Commenting on their participation and involvement in Almosafer Academy training programme Sofia Santos, Country Manager GCC at VisitBritainsaid: “We are excited about our collaboration with the Almosafer Academy, and the opportunity to be part of training the next generation of Saudi Travel Advisors. Most of KSA travellers are familiar with London. We will use this opportunity to showcase hidden gems in London and less well-known areas beyond London, such as the Cotswolds and Lake District. The academy will also allow us to train recruits on how to sell our products to their future customers. Outstanding candidates will have the opportunity to experience Britain during our Educational Trip early next year”.
Abdulla Yousuf - Acting Director, Proximity Markets, International Operations,said: “We at DTCM are delighted to be working closely alongside Al Mosafer on what promises to be an exciting, educational and hugely beneficial collaboration.
Yousuf added: “We’re giving graduates from Almosafer Academy the opportunity to visit and experience Dubai’s ever-changing choice of tourist attractions, landmark hotels and world-class restaurants and shopping destinations. Holidays are filled with precious moments. The Travel Advisors will offer the best expert advice to make each day spent in Dubai a wonderful experience that Saudi tourists will remember and cherish forever.”
Sevinj Zeynalli, Directorof International Market Management atAzerbaijan Tourism Board said: “It is indeed a great pleasure to tie up with Almosafer for this remarkable programme and to be able to train a new generation of travel advisor on Azerbaijan and what it has to offer. Our destination training and fam trip will showcase Azerbaijan as a country of unique nature, unmatched culture, history and fine cuisine. Educating Almosafer’s new recruits about our country will not only help raise further awareness around it as a tourism destination but will also boost inbound tourism from KSA to Azerbaijan.”
Experience Hub’s Vice President of Sales Bruno Wileysaid: “Partnering with Almosafer Academy, Experience Hub supports the next generation of Saudi travel professionals by getting them acquainted with anything and everything related to Yas Island through our newly launched Yas Expert Destination Training Program. As certified Yas Experts with enhanced destination and product knowledge, Academy candidates will have an advantage over their competitors, confidently delivering more personalized itineraries for their clients.”
He continued, “Travel agents benefit from destination training programs which help them better generate and convert leads. When we partner with organizations like Almosafer Academy to provide such training opportunities, we reiterate our commitment to collaborating with our partners to develop travel agent capabilities and in turn, connect key markets to our one-of-a-kind destination.”
Almosafer is heavily invested in preparing a young generation of experienced travel advisors who can support the anticipated boom in the Travel and Tourism sector in KSA, as it gradually gains recognition as new and compelling tourism destination. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will start issuing tourist visas for the first time since 2010.
Almosafer retail branches will be present in various cities including Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Kharj, Khobar, Jubail, Al Ahsa, Khafji, Makkah, Taif, Madinah, Khamis Mushait, Abha, Bahah, Bishah, Jizan, Najaran, Tabuk, Aljouf, Unaizah, Buridah, ArRass, Hail, Yanbu and Rabig.