Almosafer, the leading omni-channel travel brand in Saudi Arabia, yesterday celebrated the official launch of “Almosafer Academy”, a 10-week specialised 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 revolutionise 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 Saudi Arabia by the end of this year, Almosafer is utilising the Academy to equip passionate Saudi nationals with the skills and industry knowledge they need to succeed and grow as travel consultants within the company. A total of 48 Saudi recruits from key cities across the kingdom such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah, will commence the programme this month.

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 familiarisation 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 Authority as well as Experience Hub- the trade and promotion arm of Yas Island Abu Dhabi.

Fahad Mohammed Al Obailan, vice president Retail of Almosafer, said: “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 specialised 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 specialised 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 VisitBritain, said: “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 the Saudi 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.”

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 Saudi Arabia, 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. - TradeArabia News Service

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