Youth hostels mooted for backpackers

MUSCAT, Sept 9 – Oman’s tourists comprise both affluent travellers from across the globe as well as a growing number of backpackers who would require accommodation, according to human resource experts. A ‘youth hostel’ is an ideal solution which can provide jobs to hundreds of local youth and aid local businesses and service providers, including tour guides, taxi and bus service, said Murtadha Jawad, the official representative of the Oman Society for Human Resource Management (OSHRM) conference.
“We need to cater to both niche clients as well as backpackers who prefer to stay in small lodges,” he said.
The Fourth Annual OSHRM Human Resources conference will bring together HR experts from around the world and provide insights into the ever-changing human resource management sector.
Youth hostels is one of the key topics of discussion at the meet, whose theme is, ‘Tomorrow is now. Are we there yet?’ It will be held from October 9 to 11.
“Youth hostels are important for the tourism sector. The idea is to attract student travellers as well as affluent tourists,” said Murtadha, who is also the Head of Marketing and Communications, Al Izz Islamic Bank. According to him, Oman has the best infrastructure, roads and bridges, and best facilities for both residents and tourists. “However, a night stay facility for as low as, for example RO 5, will see a large number of backpackers rushing to the Sultanate.”
Omani youth can offer allied services for student tourists and backpackers through retail outlets, restaurants, bicycle rentals, etc.
“The world is moving towards budget airlines and budget packages; people prefer to spend on experience than elite stays for a night or two. There are many guest houses in the country, including the ones in Nizwa near Al Hoota Cave,” said Murtadha.
He said nearly 50,000 graduates come out of universities each year and they need job placements. “Job roles are going through a paradigm shift, giving preference to tech-savvy people over ordinary graduates.”
He said the youth force should believe in career progression and in scaling the career ladder to reach a senior position.
“We will be looking at various nuances of hiring and key performance indicators (KPIs) and honing of skills, besides identifying the need to help employers hire more young Omanis,” Murtadha added.

KABEER YOUSUF