Investing in skill sets will lay the foundation for the success of the tourism industry: Rupinder Brar, ADG, Ministry of Tourism

New Delhi:Ms Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India yesterday said that the tourism industry needs a skilled workforce to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis and companies should start reskilling their workforces as the constant supply of skilled workforce will allow the whole industry to maintain quality in terms of products and services.

Addressing the webinar on ‘Trends in Future Jobs, Skill Development & Training in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality’ organized by FICCI, Ms Brar said, “The tourism industry will experience consistent growth with skilful employees. To come out successfully from the current crisis, organizations will need to nurture their employees’ digital, cognitive, and resilience skill sets.”

She further said that this is the most opportune time for skill development in the tourism & hospitality industry to bridge the demand and supply gap. This is also time for companies to commit to reskilling and developing this muscle that will also strengthen companies for future disruptions.

Ms Brar further called for bringing changes to the curriculum of tourism and hospitality management education. “Courses need to be made contemporary and the interface between content and industry is something that needs to be accomplished more rigorously so that courses may land students in suitable jobs,” she said.

She further stated that the tourism & hospitality industry has a huge potential to absorb the best-class talent in the country and our objective is to empower the youth by making them industry-relevant.

The tourism sector is a great contributor to the country’s economic growth and our aim is to impart global standards of training to build the capabilities of the semi-skilled and unskilled workforce through digital technology. “Human resource is a crucial part of the growth story of the tourism sector and our objective is to scale up the courses in the country in collaboration with the industry to bridge the gap between the industry-demand and availability of skilled manpower,” she further noted.

Speaking on the government initiatives, she said that the government and other stakeholders must come up with programs that are in sync with the current. “It is time for some serious introspections. We must look at expanding products that are available in the market for our people to match the best standards globally. We must also identify various verticals to leverage the experience of Incredible India, said Ms Brar.

Celebrity Chef, Kunal Kapur said, no amount of training and experience can match the customer’s requirement, hence, we must adapt as per the situation, think out of the box, and switch gears fast. “Don’t wait for someone to employ you; you rather employ yourself,” said the celebrity Chef. He further stated that social media can play a huge role by promoting a chef’s skills and marketing their content.

Mr Rajan Bahadur, CEO, Tourism & Hospitality Skill Council said that the demand for the hospitality industry will revive soon. The new normal will need personal wellbeing experts, content makers, and storytellers. Hotels can stand out in the digital world only by storytelling.

Mr Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators said, “Clients’ requirements must be properly designed, and this can only be done through a skilled and professional workforce.” He further said that tourism must be taught as a subject at the school level itself.

Mr Riaz Munshi, Managing Director, N Chirag Travels & President- Outbound Tour Operators Association of India said, “Our industry is huge, and we have to identify and educate the employees by differentiating and updating ourselves on a regular basis. We need to have a training system in place in our organizations.”

 

Mr Rajan Sehgal, Chairman, Skill & Education- Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) & Co-Founder, Passionals said, “Professional courses must be designed in such a way that it provides immediate job opportunity for students.” Mr Ashish Kumar, Co-Chairman, FICCI Travel Technology Committee said that training the leaders is more crucial today than training employees. Vernacularization, he added, is going to be an important element in the tourism industry.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI said that the pandemic has impacted businesses and job losses in different segments of the tourism sector but has also created new opportunities and needs for new skills. “FICCI will support the hospitality industry by hosting a virtual dinner at the upcoming Annual Convention of FICCI,” he added.