(MENAFN - Arab News) ITL World, a travel management company with offices across the Gulf and India, will cooperate with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities to strengthen the Kingdom's tourism sector, said Siddeek Ahmed, CMD of Eram-ITL Group yesterday.
Speaking to Arab News following the inauguration in Jeddah of ITL World's 25th and largest office in Asian network, Ahmed said his company would train Saudis to take up key jobs in the tourism industry.
Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al-Faisal opened ITL's office in Jeddah in the presence of well known Indian film star and politician Sarath Kumar, Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin Tago, Indian Consular General Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, Muslim League leader Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal and other dignitaries
"We will select and train a large number of efficient Saudis to work for tourism. We want to make use of them to promote inbound and outbound tourism," the CMD said.
He said ITL has signed agreements with SCTA and the Saudi organization has offered them every support. "We are paying high salaries to Saudi employees including women," Ahmed said and commended Saudi workers.
More than 30 percent of the company's employees in the Kingdom are Saudis. By 2015 their number will reach 50 percent of the total staff. ITL intends to have 50 branches across the Kingdom by 2015, depending on market situation, the CMD said.
Asked whether ITL World has any plan to promote Saudi tourism, Ahmed said: "We will work together with SCTA to boost Saudi tourism. We will promote desert safari and conduct tours to different tourist centers in the Kingdom including Taif, Abha and Al-Ahsa. We intend to organize three-day trips to these places in the weekends."
Saudi Arabia being a virgin market has a lot of tourism potentials, Ahmed said. "We want to make use of it properly for the benefit of the country and its people. Many companies are engaged in tourism but we want to make use of this industry not only for business but also for the Kingdom's development."
Located on the Madinah Road opposite Al-Fitaihi Center, the Jeddah office will be ITL World's 15th in the Middle East and 8th in Saudi Arabia after branches in Alkhobar, Jubail, Dammam and Riyadh. ITL World is a major player in the region with more than two decades of experience in the industry.
"We provide unmatched solutions for our client's travel & tourism needs. Ever since its inception, ITL World has always operated the business with discipline while simultaneously positioning itself for the future," said Ahmed.
With hands-on experience in all segments of the business including business travel, retail, leisure and logistics, ITL is all set to tap the immense growth potential of Saudi Arabia's Western Province by offering a broad range of travel related products and services.
ITL World Saudi Arabia has signed up with WIN (Worldwide Independent Travel Network), an international group of travel specialists based in UK working together to grow the business. This means ITL World now has a partner in about 35 countries worldwide.
ITL World is the GSA of Disney Portfolio in KSA and Bahrain in addition to Thomas Cook, MSC Cruise, Costa Cruise GSA and Maldivian Tourism Office in KSA. Alkhobar and Jeddah offices has separate sections for Disney sales and family customers.
"We have also setup an exclusive ladies branch in the Kingdom to enable us to cater to the needs of women community and open up opportunities for competent women workforce," the CMD said
Ahmed added: "Today, Saudi Arabia is clearly progressing as a center of business and has reached beyond its limits. We look forward to servicing the dynamic area with high quality service for our new and returning customers. The new office reflects our commitment to the Kingdom and the region as a whole."
Having spent many years in the Kingdom and seeing its growth and potential, ITL World, being the trendsetter in the region, is optimistic about the future. "We intend to use our strong and ever growing network to serve our customers and make them feel at home, be it in any part of this world," said Rafeeq Mohammed, regional head for ITL World-ME.