Amity Institute of Travel and Tourism (AITT) & Amity School of Hospitality (ASH)started two day Amity International Tourism & Hospitality Conference on“Advances in Tourism, Hospitality & Aviation: Global vis- a- vis Indian Perspective: Vision 2020” at Amity University Sec. 125, Noida Campus.
The conference was inaugurated by Chief Guest Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Union Minister for Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India.
Padmashri Shri Inder Sharma, Chairman Select Group of Companies; Padma Bhushan Shri S K Misra (IAS Retd.), Chairman, Indian Trust of Rural Heritage and Development; Ms Marina Ambrosecchio, President European University of Tourism, Italy; Mr Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association Tour Operator(IATO) & Managing Director, Swagatam Tour Pvt. Ltd; Mr. Anand Chauhan, Trustee, RBEF; Dr. Gurinder Singh, Group Vice Chancellor, Amity; Dr. (Prof.) Balvinder Shukla,Vice Chancellor, Amity University Uttar Pradesh and Dr. M. Sajnani, Dean Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism & Director, Amity Institute of Travel& Tourism, Amity University were also present during the occasion.
The aim of the conference is to provide platform to Industry Experts, Academicians,Researchers and Students for exchanging knowledge and presenting research studies and findings relevant to the field of Hospitality, Tourism &Aviation.
The deliberations during the conference will also focus on enhancing and developing opportunities for further research in the field of Hospitality and Tourism and bridge the gap between Academia and Industry with strong Industry interface for generating industry ready professionals.
Lauding Amity for organizing the conference, Dr. Mahesh Sharma Hon’ble Union Minister for Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India said that India has always cherished the idea of world as one Global Village which has been addressed as “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” since many years. He pointed that both the terms have same essence but the binding force behind Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is family hood while commercialization is the embodiment for the concept of global village. He stressed that India is known for its rich heritage and culture which should be spread across the world with the help of tourism, hospitality and aviation industry. Dr. Sharma averred that it is important to ponder over the means and modes to make the tourism and hospitality industries as the pillar of economic development of nation and source of women empowerment and youth employment generation and empowerment. He emphasized that tourism for any nation depends upon three important factors which are cleanliness, security and hospitality. While, India is known for its good hospitality; the issue of cleanliness and security is addressed by the present government through various schemes and policies such as “Swacch Bharat Abhiyan” and launch of new helpline number (1363) for foreign tourists that offers service in 12 foreign languages which is a first initiative by any country across the globe. Dr. Sharma opined that India is a nation of 365 days of tourism due its diverse landscape; hence, the young professionals need to be given proper skill development and training to handle the tourist activity throughout the year.
Sharing his views on Rural Tourism, Mr. S K Misra (IAS Retd.), Chairman, Indian Trust of Rural Heritage and Development said that it is time for Indian Tourism Industry to focus on newer destinations. With Rural Tourism gaining popularity among travelers, it needs more attention towards the development of the concept. He stressed that rural tourism can be a strong vehicle for development in many part of the country. Many initiatives were taken by both government and private sector for the growth of rural tourism but couldn’t be sustained. He apprised that villages attract foreign tourist who are in search of real India but there is vast vacuum which is waiting to be filled that requires constant efforts and funding from public-private sector. Mr. Mishra averred that India is a vast country which is yet to reach its potential in Tourism industry which can also be used as a strategy for Rural Development.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Inder Sharma, Chairman Select Group of Companies said that India is a vast country of great beauty and diversity. Over the years, tourism industry in India has been growing at a rapid pace with potentiality to generate employment and economic development.He highlighted five important features for a tourist destination to succeed including accessibility, acceptability, affordability, accountability and audit for economic benefit. He apprised budding professionals that they are not entering an industry where a person can be arrogant, rude or claim to know everything. Mr. Sharma advised that if an individual wants to achieve success in profession then he or she shouldn’t limit oneself and work towards enhancing one’s knowledge.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Gurinder Singh, Amity Group Vice Chancellor said that initially, the tourism and hospitality industries had faced lot of challenges including manpower since people were apprehensive about the future career prospect related to the industry. But, over the years it has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India. He mentioned that India has moved up 13 positions to 52nd rank from 65th in Tourism & Travel competitive index which has also resulted escalation at economic front. Dr. Singh apprised that the observations and recommendations at the end of the Conference will be submitted to Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India for consideration in government policies.
During the inauguration, book of Abstracts was released by the dignitaries.
The first plenary session chaired by Prof. Manjula Chaudhary, Dean Faculty of Commerce and Management Kurukshetra University and Prof. Dipra Jha,Director of Global Engagement Assistant Professor of Practice, Hospitality,Restaurant and Tourism Management University of Nebraska, Lincoln, US deliberated upon Destination Promotion ; Issues and Challenges followed by research paper presentations by research scholars participating across globe.
During the two day International Conference, various technical sessions would be conducted to deliberate upon issues, challenges, scope and growth of travel,tourism and hospitality industry in India and at global level.