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Tourism industry will boom again after the pandemic: Experts

4/09/2020 at 5:46 PM

Bhubaneswar, Sep 4: The tourism industry will spring up again once the Covid-19 pandemic relented providing huge scope of employment, Vivek Pattanayak, former bureaucrat and India’s Permanent Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, said.

“The present dark phase would eventually disappear paving the way for a boom in tourist traffic and the pent up demand for travel would get exhibited,” Pattanayak said while addressing the third virtual lecture series ‘Connect 2 Learn’ organised by the School of Hotel Management (SHM), faculty of hospitality and tourism management of the SOA Deemed to be University here on Wednesday.

He was speaking on the subject ‘Career in Hospitality and Culinary Art During and After the Pandemic.’

Pattnayak, who was the state’s former Tourism Secretary and Chairman of the Odisha Public Service Commission, said domestic and international tourism would provide huge scope of employment for students of the hospitality industry both in India as also in other parts of the world.

The students could find jobs in hotels, restaurants, flight kitchens, large hospitals, universities, factories and in sea going vessels, particularly in cruise ships, he said adding the craving for Indian food by people from all parts of the world was well known.

After the pandemic, people would explore new tourism destinations and India’s tourism industry would also take off again, Pattanayak said.

Prof. Sitikantha Mishra, Advisor cum Dean of SHM, in his opening remarks, said that the institute’s objective was to assist the students to make the right career choice in a diverse field which had witnessed immense growth in recent years. A degree in hospitality management provided a wide choice to the students, he said.

Dr. Anita Moodaliar, Principal of Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Pune, said no other field could be as exciting as the tourism industry which was one of the most complex but at the same time the most rewarding. She also echoed the words of Pattanayak saying though the industry was hit hard by the pandemic it would certainly bounce back.

In this new normal, a lot of changes had taken place in the hospitality industry but a plethora of jobs would be available to the students, she said adding there would be, however, a demand for multi-skilling and cross-skilling among the employees.

Soft skills including communication, understanding the concepts like responsible travel, safety and sustainability would be some of the key parameters the students would need to learn before being hired, Moodaliar said.

She said the central government would be launching a national integrated database of the hospitality industry later this month and the ministry would also launch a certification for the hospitality sector in association with Quality Council of India in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic to boost the confidence of the customer.

Col. K.C.Menon, former Regional Head, HR—South ITC Hotels and Regional Advisor, International Chamber for Service Industry, Chennai, said if a student worked with perseverance, sets long term goals and acquires skills could excel in the industry.

Among others, Abhijan Talukdar, Consultant and Mohammed Zulfikar, Senior Training and Development Manager, Abu Sarovar Portico, Chennai also spoke. More than 120 students attended the virtual lecture which also had an interactive session.

Prof. Lalat Indu Mishra, Assistant Professor, SHM coordinated the lecture while Prof. Santosh Bisoi, Assistant Professor, SHM proposed the vote of thanks.

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