Travel and tourism: Matchless glamour of the tourism industry

For young people anxious to see the world, the travel and tourism business — the worlds largest industry — offers glamour and excitement which few industries can match
Its the worlds largest industry generating a global revenue estimated at $13 trillion and direct employment for 204 million people worldwide.

Besides, for young people anxious to see the world, the travel and tourism business offers glamour and excitement which few industries can match.

In 2006, the number of tourist arrivals into India crossed 4.47 million, earning the country foreign exchange estimated at Rs.29,000 crore. Indias outward bound tourism growth, which gathered momentum in 1991 following liberalisation and deregulation of the Indian economy, has been much more spectacular and is estimated at 8 million currently. Moreover according to projections made by Euromonitor International, the number of tourists travelling out of India will rise to 16.3 million by 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Indias tourism and related industries offer exciting career paths. Theres an acute shortage of trained professionals with the result that theres a huge demand for freshers too, with travel and tourism firms ready to dedicate time and money to train them. In India there are plentiful employment opportunities in the tourism departments of the Central and state governments as also in public and private sector firms. Inevitably, qualified tourism professionals are drawn to private employers — travel agencies, package tour operators, airlines, hotels, cargo and courier agencies, and tourism promotion boards of countries, all of whom offer excellent pay and perks packages.

Professional certification in travel and tourism is available in the form of postgraduate diploma and degree programmes (duration of one to two years) provided by several government institutes and universities across the country. Among the most reputable are:

Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Gwalior
Indian Institutes of Tourism and Travel Management, New Delhi, Calicut, and Chennai
Kurukshetra University
Pondicherry University
University of Delhi
University of Mumbai

The better private sector institutes offering diploma programmes are:

Institute of Hotel Cargo and Tourism Management (IHCTM), Mumbai
Trade Wings Institute of Managers
SNDT Womens University, Mumbai
Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai
South Polytechnic, New Delhi

The most recent entrant into travel and tourism education is the Kuoni Academy of Travel with seven centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Bhopal.

Moreover postgraduate courses in tourism and guiding are offered by Kurukshetra University and chapters of the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), Delhi.

ATTRACTIVE REMUNERATION. This fast-track industry offers attractive remuneration and perquisite packages which include free travel for employees en famille. For freshers, remuneration ranges from Rs.6,000–12,000 per month, rising to Rs.2.5–3 lakh after two years and Rs.5–7 lakh after four-six years experience. For those with more than nine years experience Rs.10–15 lakh per year is par for the course.

India is one of the worlds fastest growing markets in leisure and business travel. But unfortunately, the supply of trained manpower is far short of demand. By 2010, its estimated therell be 11 million jobs available in travel and tourism in India with the major employers being airline companies, travel agencies, travel call centres, back offices of airline companies, and tourism boards of various countries,” predicts Subhash Motwani, director of IHCTM, and Compact Travels Pvt Ltd, Mumbai.

A member of the Institute of Hospitality (MIH), UK, and recipient of 22 IATA qualifications with 20 years of teaching experience, Motwani started working with the Institute of Hotel, Cargo and Tourism Management, part of the RBCS group of institutes founded by his father. Simultaneously he studied for a B.Com degree in H.R. College, Mumbai, and graduated in 1988. Since then he has pressed on to acquire a string of 22 diplomas and certificates from IATA, UFTAA, FIATA, and British Airways and has also learned German, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Motwani who heads the faculty of IHCTM claims that the institute has the unique distinction” of being the first training centre worldwide, authorised to offer all four levels of the new IATA/UFTAA programme from foundation to senior management level, and the first training centre to offer seven IATA qualifications including the three-level IATA/FIATA programmes. IHCTM trains about 300 students per year with the duration of study programmes ranging from 2 to 24 months.

IHCTM students have an additional advantage. They have the option to intern with Compact Travels, an affiliated travel agency promoted by Motwani in 2004, which is also a destination tourism management company.

As the world becomes smaller because of better connectivity and rising interest in transcultural interaction, travel and tourism and related industries are the growth areas of the future. This is the industry which offers fun, travel to exotic locations, chances to meet interesting people around the world, and respectable pay packages as well. This is where the action is,” says Motwani.

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