The Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF) and the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) renewed the management agreements to manage Crowne Plaza / Amman, Crowne Plaza Resort & Spa/ Dead Sea, and Holiday Inn Resort /Dead Sea for the next ten years.
Mrs. Kholoud Saqqaf, SSIF CEO and Vice Chairperson of the Investment Board and Mr. Pascal Gauvin, IHG Chief Operating Officer of India, Middle East and Africa, signed the agreements. Announcing the continuation of operating the three prominent properties, beside the other properties owned by the Fund under IHG management; Crowne Plaza / Petra and InterContinental / Aqaba. The ceremony attended by Nidal Batayneh Minister of Labor, Dr. Hazem Al- Rahahleh, Social Security Corporation Director General, and Eng. Haitham Majali, Chairman of the National Corporation for Tourism Development.
SSIF CEO said that the Fund recognizes that tourism is a major driver in national economic growth, job creation, and contributes to the sustainable development of the local communities. SSIF is a major investor in tourism sector with a portfolio that totaled JD 250 million. Moreover, the Fundwilling to expand its direct and indirect investments, Saqqaf attributed this strategic direction to the sector’s immense potential to develop into a full-fledged, competitive industry and provide better services to tourists.
“The Fund is delighted to strengthen its strategic partnership with high-profile international partners such as IHG” Mrs. Saqqaf added. As both parties witnessed a significant growth in this industry and in the capabilities of the manpower to deliver excellent services that adhere to high standards.
“We are honored and extremely happy to be renewing our crucial and successful partnership with the Fund. As we join hands for another ten-year term, we must feel proud of the results achieved together in terms of boosting the local economy, the tourism industry and most importantly in raising the percentage of Jordanian employees to 95% in the hotels owned by the Fund.”Mr. Pascal Gauvin, IHG Chief Operating Officer of India, Middle East and Africa
It is worth mentioning that the Fund invests directly in the tourism sector through owning a number of 4 and 5 stars hotels managed by IHG, creating around 1400 jobs for local residents.
In the same vein, and to pay the local community back, these hotels participate in and sponsor many CSR initiatives. One of these initiatives is the Holiday Inn/Dead Sea Academy, the academy provides an opportunity for youth from surrounding villages to undergo training in food and beverage services, food production, and housekeeping, so these hotels can hire the trained youth. The training program also includes IT skills, English language, and soft skills. The overall number of trainees and graduates from the Jordan Valley is 80 young women and men .