From an entrepreneurial viewpoint, the tourism industry of India is a good mold of growth. As per the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism accounted for 6.6% of the national GDP. With regards to its size and population, the country has an endless collection of cultures, landscapes and monuments worth visiting. For an entrepreneur, these are assets waiting to be harnessed to their full potential.
There is an increasing interest with bringing innovation to the tourism industry within India. This can be seen from the very recent awarding of UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Excellence and Innovation title to Kerala, the tourist hub within India. The model of sustainable tourism within India has been lauded.
Drawing on this narrative, training within the domain of hospitality management can allow budding entrepreneurs to make the most of the booming industry within India.
Hospitality management and online education
The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report of 2013 puts India at 65th position out of 144 countries. This is a decent ranking; however it also indicates a need for innovation and improvement. The report cites that India can improve on its technological infrastructure and also its hospitality management.
An entrepreneur always reaches for competitive advantage within businesses, and in the case of the tourism industry of India, a hospitality management degree would be a major asset. Competitiveness can be gained by utilizing newer channels of education. Modern businesses are all about studying successful models and customizing them for implementation within various geographical settings. For instance, in the case of India, benefiting from the success of online education would be a major competitive advantage.
A survey on employment concludes that employers are looking for people who have skills that enable them to be innovative in the workplace. Most important was the general agreement that online instruction/training/education can help students with successful employment campaigns.
This adds extra weight to a hospitality management degree. Such a degree enables thought leaders, students and budding entrepreneurs to learn about skills necessary to successfully make the most of the tourism industry in India. The online education model also sheds light on extended areas such as entertainment and sports venues, casinos and spa services — all underutilized areas within Indian industry. Also, graduates from such courses also boost their global employment chances. Click here to learn more about the specifics of hospitality management training in the U.S.
Also relevant to this discussion is the flexible nature of the education model. These new opportunities will enable students to be part of the international tourism market, acting as inheritors of new entrepreneurial ventures.
Online education is gaining impetus within India and incentives are being used to spur its growth. This can be seen with a $1 million investment made to manage a ‘Schools in the Cloud’ project. With India being a strong IT hub, entrepreneurship can make most of the rising influence of technology within the tourism industry.
Technology driven tourism
India is yet to fully impact its bright tourism industry through technology.
A UNWTO report on Technology in Tourism indicates the fact that social media and other digital tools are allowing more transparency and a wider scope of services to allow new people to enter the tourism industry.
A case study of a Spanish travel entrepreneur highlights how digital innovation can be converted to enhanced consumer satisfaction. He has dubbed online tools as a ‘portable concierge,’ allowing people to have an unprecedented experience.
The concept of a portable or virtual concierge is important since nearly all tourism enterprises offer some sort of IT based services such as online booking. However, a virtual concierge model encompasses all aspects of hospitality management so that customer loyalty can be generated.
Malta, a much smaller country than India, has been able to make tourism so efficient that it accounts for 35% of the net GDP. Their success model is built on technology and increasing efficiency. They have successfully employed the EU Life+ Investing in Water model whereby the tourism industry has been able to reduce their annual operating costs by more than $1 million dollar per year.
India, which has much larger tourism sector, should study such models to increase its own efficiency.
The tourism and hospitality management industries of India can serve as conduits to larger profits. There is massive room for growth in these industries that has the chance to become the largest across the globe. From a business perspective, principles of hospitality management can be a major focal point of advancing growth.