Social Security Investment Fund and InterContinental Hotels Group renew partnership agreements

The Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF) and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) have renewed agreements to manage Crowne Plaza/Amman, Crowne Plaza Resort & Spa/Dead Sea, and Holiday Inn Resort/Dead Sea for the next 10 years. 
The agreements were signed by Kholoud Saqqaf, SSIF CEO and vice chairperson of the Investment Board, and Pascal Gauvin, IHG Chief Operating Officer of India, Middle East and Africa, announcing the continuation of operating the three properties alongside the others owned by the Fund under IHG management —  Crowne Plaza/Petra and InterContinental/Aqaba, a statement from the SSIF said on Tuesday. 
The ceremony was attended by Nidal Bataineh, Minister of Labour, Hazem Al Rahahleh, Social Security Corporation Director General and Haitham Majali, the chairman of the National Corporation for Tourism Development. 
SSIF CEO said that the Fund recognises that tourism is a major driver in national economic growth and job creation and contributes to the sustainable development of the local communities. 
SSIF is a major investor in the tourism sector with a portfolio that totalled JD250 million, and is willing to expand its direct and indirect investments, according to the statement.
Saqqaf attributed this “strategic direction” to the sector’s immense potential to develop into a “full-fledged, competitive industry” that provides better services to tourists, according to the statement.
The SSIF CEO added that the Fund is “delighted” to strengthen its strategic partnership with high-profile international partners such as IHG as both parties witnessed a significant growth in this industry and in the capabilities of the manpower to deliver excellent services that adhere to the high standards, the statement said.
 “We are honoured and extremely happy to be renewing our crucial and successful partnership with the Fund. As we join hands for another 10-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 per cent in the hotels owned by the Fund,” Gauvin was quoted in the statement as saying. 
The Fund invests directly in the tourism sector through owning a number of four and five star hotels that are managed by IHG.  These hotels created around 1,400 jobs for local residents. The Fund also owns stakes in a number of leading companies in this sector in Amman, the Dead Sea and Aqaba, according to the statement.
“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", read the statement. 
The academy provides ‎an opportunity for youth from surrounding villages to undergo training in food and beverage ‎services, food production and housekeeping to be hired by these hotels. The training programme ‎also includes IT skills, English language and soft skills. The number of trainees and graduates is 80 young women and men from the Jordan Valley, according to the statement.
Jordan Times
8 October 2019