World Tourism Day 2019: India has created over 13.92 million jobs in the tourism sector, with over 10 million in education and health sectors. As per the data shared by the Minister of State for Tourism, the tourism sector contributed an estimated 5.06 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country during 2016-17. The employment in this sector is increasing gradually with India becoming the global destination for medical and education tourism.
Meanwhile, the hospitality and trade sectors witnessed a lack in skilled people which may increase over 8 lakh by 2021. As per the study conducted by Ministry of Tourism, “The gap will be 7.55 lakh at the non-managerial level and 1.09 lakh in the managerial cadre by 2020-21 in the tourism and hospitality sector.”
Harsh Mehta, professor of a management college in Kolkata said, “The students, after completing their courses in Hotel Management, often do not secure good placement as they lack skills. Apart from some reputed institutions like Indian Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), National Institute of Hotel Management (NIHM), most of the students cannot compete in professional fields due to a lack of knowledge.”
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The medical tourism sector attracts around 4 million people every year for various health checkups and major surgeries, with a majority from neigbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Middle East and African countries. According to Gurpreet Singh, who runs accommodation facilities in Shaheen Bagh for people from the Middle East, lots of college students are working as interpreters with a salary of Rs 18,000 to 25,000 per month. Besides, restaurants and burgeoning PGs, hotels and guest houses in the area are looking for well-experienced chefs and receptionists with a salary package as high as Rs 40,000 to 50,000 per month, he informed. The salary varies and a chef at a reputed hotel can earn more than Rs 1 lakh a month, said Gurmeet.
Apart from New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai attract medical tourists from around the world, with Kolkata becoming the preferred medical destination for Bangladeshis. “These are responsible for an annual surge in business. The tour company provides interpreters, translators, tour operators, car facilities, hotel booking and other services. Professionals are paid around Rs 25,000 to 35,000, with an increase in salary as per the demand and experience level,” remarked Md. Siraj, manager of the Kolkata-based Alam Tour company.
Apart from medical tourism, India is growing in the education tourism sector with Bangalore slowly becoming Asia’s fastest developing cosmopolitan city. “An estimated 8 to 10 lakh students visited India every year through the student exchange programme with various countries, universities and educational institutions. They toured various historical places for their own purpose and research,” according to an official from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
The tourism sector also requires people with a good digital skills. “The digital world offers massive job opportunities to candidates who are skilled in digital marketing, social media, SEO, etc, as several international brands plan to target Indian consumers and successfully establish themselves in the region. Further, the hospitality industry presents huge job opportunities for women, which are bound to increase as a lot of female travelers prefer solo trips,” said Prasad Shejale, Co-founder and CEO of Logicserve Digital.
According to Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report, India has an internet user base of 12 per cent of the world’s 3.8 billion internet users, which is second only to China. Low-cost mobiles and easy internet accessibility are key driving factors for brands preferring the digital medium to reach target consumers. Since people in India make use of the mobile web, apps, Google search to decide their travel plans, digital continues to play a key role in India’s travel and tourism industry.
The government of India is also working with colleges and industry people to produce skilled professionals. “The Ministry is conducting skill development and capacity building courses across the country including pilgrimage places through the Central Institutes of Hotel Management/ State Institutes of Hotel Management/ Food Craft Institutes/ Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM)/ India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC)/ Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS)/ Private affiliated Institutes/ Institutes identified by State Governments, Hotels/ equivalent establishments under the State Tourism Development Corporations,” the Minister of State for Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply to Lok Sabha on July 8 mentioned.
The Ministry of Tourism has also launched a pan-India Incredible India Tourist Facilitators Certification programme (IITFC) to enable creation of a pool of well-trained and professional Tourism Facilitators, the minister mentioned.
This year, the World Tourism Day is being celebrated with the theme “Tourism and Jobs — A Better Future For All”. “Tourism’s role in job creation is often undervalued. This is despite the fact that tourism generates 10 per cent of the world’s jobs and is included in the Sustainable Development Goal 8 for its potential to create decent work,” as per UN.