With a constantly evolving middle class, rising levels of disposable income, increased interest in India as a tourist destination and efficient governmental support, the travel and tourism sector in India is witnessing consistent growth. As travellers – both international and domestic have an increased appetite for exploration, it bodes well for the hospitality industry too. According to data published by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the industry is expected to create 13.45 million jobs across sub-segments such as restaurants (10.49 million jobs), hotels (2.3 million jobs) and travel agents/tour operators (0.66 million). Industry experts have also predicted that the Travel and Tourism sector in the country is expected to reach upwards of $50 Bn by 2020.
Hospitality is one of the biggest employers in the country, and it is one of the country’s largest direct contributors to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The government is making increased efforts in order to make this sector flourish, through various methods. This can be clearly understood from the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech, where he proclaimed that every Indian should make it a point to visit at least fifteen destinations in the next four years. Today a few premium hospitality chains are proposing ways and means to collaborate with (various state governments to train and upskill students and plan to train them as an initiative for skill development in the industry .. This seems like one of the more creative ways where the industry can add value and support the employment generation process in the country. Along with this, the government is also helping increase inbound travel by simplifying visa processes, creating better infrastructure, roads, bettering connectivity, identifying heritage sites and developing state tourism, increasing number of flight options and more through schemes like UDAAN, the Incredible India campaign and more.
As the number of tourists increases in the nation, there needs to be appropriate accommodation made for the tourists. This implies investing in a large amount of infrastructure and construction, and ensuring that there are enough people to run the place smoothly and efficiently. With many hotels, inns, hostels and more tying up with both Indian and international hospitality brands, there is an increased level of training and a welcome shift in perspective towards the hospitality sector.
The need for partnerships and multi-skilling programs
As the hospitality sector is heavily dependent on satisfaction of their patrons, it has become crucial for these establishments to hire employees that can best cater to these expectations. Industry and academic partnerships have to be created to source staff at all levels, especially entry level staff. Discussions have to be initiated with the stakeholders in the state government and the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council to create a “Centre of Excellence” with 6-9 months of multi-skilling program. The current programs in skill development hover around F&B Production, F&B Service, Housekeeping and Front Office. The training hours vary from 300 to 500 hours including internships that usually culminate into jobs. The industry is now focusing on increasingly hiring local residents in order to both – give back to their community as well as hire those with location understanding and familiarity, in order to guide patrons more effectively. This continues to make the industry one of the biggest generators of local employment in the country. By focusing on skill-development in order to serve their guests better, the players are making sure that locals become well-rounded employees with specialised skillsets. This will result in s opening doors for potential employees to explore more job opportunities, more than what they had access to before.
While there are multiple positions that need to be occupied while running a hospitality unit, the role of concierge is gaining more prominence. The new age travellers care more about discovering off-beat local delights and cultural immersion. They don’t just want to see the usual tourist spots. This is why they usually approach the concierge with their queries, and having a local guiding them is the best in this situation. This is why skill development has become extremely crucial for employees in this sector.
Indians have been displaying an increased need for travel, and with the government’s efforts of promoting tourism, 2020 is already witnessing increased demand for hotels. Travellers belonging to the millennial and Gen Z generation are very adventurous in their travel needs, pushing the boundaries to explore more undiscovered destinations. Due to this, there is an opportunity for business in more locales than before. Creating more hotels means the need for more recruitment, thus generating a cycle.
In this cycle, as the interest in inbound tourism increases, a greater demand for accommodation is also observed. This leads to improvements in infrastructure, and construction of more hotels – all of which leads to employment generation. With good service offered to tourists, they become interested in recommending the brand to more people, or making a repeat purchase, thereby increasing interest in tourism along with brand recall and long-term loyalty.
With the global expansion of businesses and cultural exchanges, it can be well perceived that this year will generate a plethora of employment opportunities within the hospitality sector, and the same in turn will account for the growth of the sector at large.