Working for the Hilton brand is not just a job but an opportunity for young Seychellois to grow and build a career, the brand’s regional president said following a courtesy call on Seychelles’ President on Friday.
During their meeting, held at State House, Victoria, the regional president of Hilton, Jochem Jan Sleiffer, and President Wavel Ramkalawan, talked about the growth of Hilton in Seychelles and the opportunity this presents for the youth looking to enter the tourism industry.
Hilton currently operates four hotels in Seychelles and will see the opening of two others by the end of the year.
“It is also about the growth of the people that want to work in hospitality in Seychelles. We are all about finding the right people to run the hotels. We started something this year at Hilton Labriz Silhouette where we have taken 15 young Seychellois into our compound and do training with them, educate and grow them so that they can work in hotels,” said Sleiffer, who is responsible for Hilton resorts in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
Jan Sleiffer (left) met with President Ramkalawan on Friday. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
He said that Hilton has 7,100 hotels around the world “so we send them around, they get experience and then they come back to Seychelles. When you combine those two things, where we are building beautiful hotels and developing people at the same time, I think the future is very bright.”
Talking about continuing to expand the brand in the island nation, he outlined that “if we can find the right spot, for the right brand we will definitely have more hotels here. The people that work in the hotel should be a reflection of the community in which we operate. As such we want to work with Seychellois first and foremost,” he said.
For the brand, Seychelles’ natural beauty and the hospitality of the people are attractive elements. With a large presence in the island nation, Hilton also seeks to give back to the community through its continuous engagement to ensure sustainability is up-kept in the hotels’ day-to-day operations.
“We are on an island here so we have to make sure that we take extremely good care of this island so we are talking about stopping using single-use plastics, having less food waste, and really doing the things that are right to make sure that we preserve the natural environment that we have here which is unique,” said Sleiffer.
When asked about lightening Seychelles’ housing constraints by providing accommodations to Seychellois workers who work with the brand, especially on the main island, Mahe, Sleiffer outlined that he was unaware that housing is a problem in the country.
He explained that the company does “accommodate workers on the other islands where the people are living with us so we have staff accommodation, and provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
Sleiffer added that “On the main island we typically do not do that though we always have some accommodation for the people who are directly working at the hotel, but I am not aware of any plans to build any additional housing.”
Source: Seychelles News Agency