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National Talent Competition for Skill Development in Tourism & Hospitality: A win-win

The objective of organizing the National Talent Competition for Skill Development in Tourism & Hospitality Sector competition was to create a robust and sustainable eco-system for skill development in the tourism industry and enable youth to get blue-collar jobs by participating in such programs.

The Tourism Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) organized the 3rd edition of National Talent Competition for Skill Development in Tourism & Hospitality Sector with the theme “Opportunities & Challenges of Digital Transformation in Tourism and Hospitality Sector” on September 20, 2019 at PHD House in New Delhi, India.

The Inaugural Session was graced by H.E. Sulton Rahimzoda, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan; Piyush Tiwari, CMD, India Tourism Development Corporation; Vinod Zutshi (Retd. IAS), Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; and Rhys Williams, Project Director, Victoria University. Vishal Jindal, Chairman – Skill Development Committee, PHDCCI; Rajan Sehgal, Co-Chairman – Tourism Committee, PHDCCI; and Yogesh Srivastav, Principal Director, PHDCCI were also part of the Inaugural Session.

While inaugurating the program, H.E. Sulton Rahimzoda, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan, said that tourism is one of the best ways to develop bilateral relations between India and Tajikistan. He also informed that their government has recently liberalized visa schemes for tourists visiting the country.

Piyush Tiwari, CMD, India Tourism Development Corporation, said that there is no dearth of talent in the country, but it needs proper guidance and structure to develop completely. Programs like these help create platforms and opportunities for managers at all levels to come together and enhance their professional competence and skills.

Addressing the participants, Vinod Zutshi (Retd. IAS), Former Secretary – Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said that the theme of the competition is very important as digital transformation has overwhelmed the entire travel ecosystem, triggering a formidable rise in competition. The management education in India has undergone a sea of change. It is essential that the curriculum is constantly adapted to cope with the changes in the business world and meet the aspirations of the industry.

Vishal Jindal, Chairman – Skill Development Committee, PHDCCI, in his address said that tourism has a great capacity to create large-scale employment and generate massive productive employment opportunities which is what India needs the most. He also highlighted how education and skill development can help boost the quality of tourism and the hospitality industry in the country.

Rhys Williams, Project Director, Victoria University, congratulated PHDCCI for organizing this program and said that it will further refine and revalidate the student’s information base and harness their presentation skills, which will be a big boost to their careers.

Rajan Sehgal, Co-Chairman – Tourism Committee, PHDCCI, said that this competition will help the corporates in the retention of the young talent pool and at the same time provide a unique opportunity to budding managers to demonstrate their creativity and professional prowess.

A total of 13 colleges and universities took part in the competition which was evaluated by a distinguished panel of jury members –Vinod Zutshi (Retd. IAS), Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Rajan Bahadur, CEO, Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council; Vasudha Sondhi, Managing Director, Outbound Marketing; and Meena Bhatia, Vice President & GM, Le Meridien New Delhi.

The Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Bhopal was adjudged as the winner of the competition. The Tourism School in New Delhi and Chitkara College of Hospitality Management, Punjab were the 1st and the 2nd Runners-Up respectively. Rishika Khosla from IHM Bhopal was selected as the “Best Budding Manager” among all the participants. All the winners were awarded with prize money, trophies, and dertificates.

The Valedictory Session was graced by Suman Billa (IAS), Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, who also awarded the winners along with H.E. Radu Octavian Dobre, Ambassador of Romania; Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators; Radha Bhatia, Chairperson – Tourism Committee, PHDCCI; and Kishore Kaya and Rajan Sehgal, Co-Chairmen – Tourism Committee, PHDCCI.

H.E. Radu Octavian Dobre, Ambassador of Romania, said that programs like these help create platforms and opportunities for professional managers at all levels to come together and enhance their professional competence and skills.

Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators, said that these competitions are an opportunity for the students and budding managers to meet eminent industrialists and entrepreneurs from various sectors, both at the national and international level, and gain a chance to build a network and also to be inspired by their success.

Inaugurating the valedictory session, Suman Billa (IAS), Joint Secretary – Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, lauded PHD‘s efforts to create such platforms for the young minds to get inspired and always strive for excellence. The inbound tourism industry in India is in a great shape currently. The rising interests of travelers from across the world indicate a healthy shift and a positive growth in the Indian inbound tourism sector. Unlike the past, there has been an increase in the share of visitors looking to spend their vacations or explore exotic Indian destinations.

Radha Bhatia, Chairperson – Tourism Committee, PHDCCI, spoke about the importance of skill in the education field. She also stated that whole world is looking up to India as the biggest resource as it is also one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. She encouraged and advised the students to grab opportunities like the NCT which can help them hone their skills.

Yogesh Srivastav, Principal Director, PHDCCI, delivered the concluding remarks, where he expressed his gratitude to the eminent dignitaries and said that PHDCCI will continue to organize such programs to bring the best out of the best talent to the fore.

The program was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and attended by more than 180 delegates from the tourism and hospitality management institutes.

National Talent Competition for Skill Development in Tourism & Hospitality: A win-win

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