Report on India International Hotel, Travel & Tourism Research Conference 2013

The India International Hotel, Travel & Tourism Research Conference was held at Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, New Delhi, India, from January 29 – 30, 2013. The fifth sequel to these conferences initiated in the year 2009, was attended by delegates from various countries. This conference brought industry managers, tourism and hospitality researchers along with representatives from media together to deliberate on the issues related to the travel and hospitality business ensuring that the Industry adapts the innovations discussed at this forum. Inaugural Session The Inauguration of the Conference was held on January 29, 2013 bringing industry managers, tourism and hospitality researchers together to deliberate on the issues related to the travel and hospitality business ensuring that the Industry adapts the innovations discussed at this forum. Mr R. K. Bhandari, President IIHTTRC and Principal BCIHMCT, welcomed the dignitaries and thanked all the participants for attending the conference. He announced the dates for IIHTTRC, 2014 to be 12, 13 and 14 February highlighting “Hotel and Tourism Marketing” as the theme for the conference. Mr. D. K. Beri, Senior Vice President (Business & Corporate Affairs), Indian Hotels Co. Limited, Taj Group of Hotels, the Chief Guest, along with Guest of Honour, Mr. Tushar Pandey, President and Country Head, Strategic Initiatives & Government Advisory, YES BANK Ltd. and other dignitaries inaugurated the conference by lighting the lamp and released the “Indian Journal of Applied Hospitality and Tourism Research” Vol.5, (ISSN 0975-4954). Mr. Tushar Pandey spoke on “Adding ‘Inclusive’ to ‘Incredible India’: Harnessing Tourism’s Potential as a Socio Economic Enabler” emphasizing on the fact that Tourism holds the largest potential for employment, after Agriculture. Mr. D. K. Beri encouraged the students and faculty members to be a part of Industry exposure at certain intervals and be aware of the new trends. Giving a word of caution to the hotel management colleges, he quoted, “Do not sell education, impart it to be on top”.

Mr. Gour Kanjilal, Executive Director, Indian Association of Tour Operator (IATO) gave a keynote speech on “Tourism Presentation on Convention and Meeting Sector, It’s Operation and Research.” He suggested MICE segment to be proficiently used to combat the off-seasonality, making India all round Tourism Destination. Professor J.S. Perry Hobson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Division of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Art at Taylor’s University (Malaysia), the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vacation Marketing and member of the Board of Directors of International Centre of Excellence in Tourism & Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) was the first Key Speaker deliberating on “Developing Innovative Products and Services for tomorrow’s Guests.” He felt a need for Industry Education partnership to strengthen and elaborated upon the growing debate about dwindling innovation. A vote of thanks was given by Mr. Bhupesh Kumar, Convener IIHTTRC 2013 at the end. Paper Presentation Track 1: Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (Day 1) Chairperson: Dr. Vinnie Jauhari, Director of IIMT, Gurgaon Mr. Bipin Chandra Pant and Dr. Amit Gangotia presented their paper on MICE Tourism in India: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges, suggested the top down development of convention infrastructure in a phased manner dividing cities in clusters and replication of the North American/ European model by investing in building Convention infrastructure. Mr. Paresh Bali, Mr. Ajeet Kumar Singh and Mr. Manish Kumar Sharma presented Empirical Study to find out Trend, Opportunities and Challenges for MICE Tourism in India, revealing the major concern to be the requirement of skilled manpower, lack of appropriate infrastructure facility, effective transportation system, higher airfares and lack of integration between the allied tourist industries. Mrs. Rekha Maitra and Mrs. Anuroopa Mahajan’s paper on “Hosting Meeting & Exhibition – A Source of Revenue Generation for Hotel Industry” suggested that providing best available rates by hotels and competitive prices by the Airline Industry would encourage the growth in MICE business in India along with modern technology that is preferred by customers. Paper Presentation Track 2: Sustaining Environment in Tourism (Day 1) Chairperson: Dr. Kumar Ashutosh, Head, Dept of Tourism, CVS, University of Delhi Ashwani Kachroo and Vinod Kumar’s paper on Sustainable Tourism Development and Environmental Law-Its Issues and Challenges, revealed the role of Ministry of Environment & Forests in the respect of sustainable tourism in India. Sustainable community based heritage tourism at Bishnupur, West Bengal: an investigation of local residents’ attitude presented by Pralay Ganguly and Kalpataru Roy, emphasized how the current increase of interest in the heritage tourism has led to an increase in the number of tourists visiting heritage destinations and attractions all over the world. Dr. Maharaj Vijay Reddy and Parmesh D Saini‘s presentation on “Space Tourism prospects and perspectives of potential consumers in India” disclosed that the space programs of China and India are developing rapidly as like their economy, which in turn has resulted strong source markets for the space tourism industry too. Dr. Rinku Sanjeev and Shikha Misra‘s presented a paper on Behavioral Training: A key to Sustainable, Competitive Advantage in Tourism Industry. Paper Presentation Track 3: Human Resource: Issues and Challenges (Day2) Chairperson: Dr. Inderjeet Dagar, Principal, CVS, University of Delhi The second day started with the keynote speech by Dr. G.V.R. Sastri, Chief Operating Officer at Trail Blazer India Private Limited, New Delhi, India, who spoke on Strategic Flexibility in Service Sector Technology: Integration Development of Multi-stakeholder followed by Prof. Dr. S.P. Bansal, Vice Chancellor, Maharaja Agrasen University, Himachal Pradesh who talked about Human Resource and Service Quality in Tourism and Hospitality: Issues and Challenges. “Student perspectives of Industrial Training Experience in Hospitality Industry: A Study” presented by Ms. Vidya Patwardhan & Ms Shreelatha Rao reflected that there is a need to develop more elaborate and valid structure for the training and evaluation procedures post-training along with on-site visits of the academic authorities during training. Dr. Suvidha Khanna and Shahnaz Akhtar presented paper on ‘Frontline Employee Demographics and Its Impact on Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment’. The empirical findings during the research showed that job satisfaction is a significant determinant of frontline employee’s organizational commitment and is effected to a great extent by their demographic profile. Dr. Surjeet Kumar & Mr. Parminder Chahal, focused on ‘Turnover in Indian Hotel Industry: A Study of Employees Opinions’ and stated monetary losses and organizational growth issues being the consequence of turnover on organization and suggested remedies to reduce turnover and increase employee retention in the hotel industry. Dr. Y. Venkata Rao and Rachel Jessie. E’s paper on ‘Affective Commitment of Employees in Hotel Industry- an Empirical Study of Puducherry Hotels’ emphasized on the affective component of job satisfaction, which is closely related to the sense of belongingness of an employee towards the organisation. Paper Presentation Track 4- Hotel Operations Management:Issues and Challenges (Day 2) Chairperson: Dr. Ashish Dahiya, Associate Professor, IHTM, Maharshi Dayanand University The paper on Hotel Loyalty by Mr. Tim Lockyer and Mr. Dr Ahmed Elebiary on Hotel Loyalty revealed that loyalty programmes have a significant impact on guest loyalty, more than staff loyalty and staff interaction, but guest satisfaction and guest affective commitment had more significant impact on guest loyalty than loyalty programmes. A study of factors moderating student’s selection of hospitality program in India by Ms. Shreelatha Rao & Ms. Vidya Patwardhan focused on student reactions examining the expectation and perception of students towards their industrial training experience by identifying the factors responsible for the overall satisfaction. Mega Events – The Impact of the Commonwealth Games on the Hotel Industry presented by Bhupesh Kumar and Dr. Tim Lockyer demonstrated that the decisions made by senior hotel management at an early stage of the planning had a large impact on the overall success of the hotels during the Games period revealing that a number of unexpected external factors influenced the success of hotels during the Games period. Paper Presentation Track 5 – Food Culture and Lifestyle (Day2) Chairperson: Dr.Manohar Sajnani, Director, Amity Institute of Travel & Tourism “Eating habits in difficult climatic conditions in Kumaon Region – Pithoragarh & Almora – Case Study” paper by Nakul Mohindra, Umesh Kushwaha and Satish Jha threw light on various medicinal plants and herbs grown, and their uses in local cuisine to make their lives healthier. Safe Food by Alok Kumar propagated the need to prevent available food from wastage & contamination along with safe food handling which has to be inculcated in the employee involved in food production & service. “Bengali cuisine and its popularity as a dining-out option” by Sandeep Chatterjee focused on the popularity of Bengali food outside Bengal and Bangladesh and find out the reasons for relatively limited popularity of this cuisine.

A strong suggestion that came from the research was Government of West Bengal must take initiative in this regard by bringing in all the stake holders such as restaurant owners, chefs, hospitality and tourism professionals and educators under a common platform. The third day of the conference started with a Keynote Speech by Mr. M. D. Kapoor, Secretary General, The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) who emphasized on importance of research in academics and industry, suggesting for the need of introspection, as we are labour focused as well as a capital intensive industry and sell an intangible experience. Mr. Samir Kuckreja, President NRAI, enlightened the gathering about better opportunities and faster growth for young professionals in the restaurant industry. Panel Discussion: Challenges ahead for Hospitality Education & Hotels’ Role in addressing the issues Moderator: Dr. Tim Lockyer A Panel Discussion on “Challenges ahead for Hospitality Education & Hotels’ Role in addressing the issues” was conducted comprising of academia, industry stakeholders and industry professionals on the third day of the conference. The session was moderated by Dr. Tim Lockyer, Graduate Counselor, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. The panel comprised of Mr. Arulmani, General Manager, Corp. Learning & Development, Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, Mr. K.V. Simon, CHA, Regional Vice President, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, Mr. Nawab Dilaweez Hasan, Senior Training Manager, The Leela Palace, New Delhi, Mr. Nisheeth Srivastava, Director Studies, National Council for HMCT&AN, Mr. Deepak Behl, Director Human Resources, The Grand New Delhi, Mr. Kunal Sood, Quality & Talent Development Manager, Crowne Plaza Today Okhla New Delhi, Mr. Douglas Peter, Head – Hospitality Training at ILFS Skills Development Corporation, New Delhi and Mr. R. K. Bhandari, President IIHTTRC and Principal, BCIHMCT, New Delhi. The session commenced with a welcome note by Dr. Tim Lockyer, who reminded the audience about few findings that emerged as a cue to the thought behind organizing discussions at a common platform for sharing the ideas. Mr Bhupesh Kumar, Convener of the Conference shared the outcome of the previous Panel Discussions. Dr Tim Lockyer invited the panelist to deliberate on the expectations of students, academicians and industry stake holders. He raised some important issues to initiate the discussions highlighting the pressing need of cooperation to address these, so that ideas for a firm partnership could be shared. A few of the concerns discussed were trainees leaving the industry after their experience during the Industrial Training leading to shortage of management personnel in the Industry. The number of work hours was found to be one of the deterrents. To these issues, following were the comments from the panelists: Mr. Arulmani in context to bringing about the change in industry mentioned that progression should take place naturally, instead of being enforced. The mantra for climbing the ladder is to “enjoy what you do and enhance relationships at work place.” Mr. R.K. Bhandari pointed out that the lack of human touch, appreciation and recognition was the cause of disinterest in joining the industry. He suggested that other than HR and Training Department, the immediate supervisors also need to monitor and mentor the trainees in the Hospitality Industry. He also highlighted the fact that quality manpower is deteriorating because of variation in curriculum and programme of variety of Hospitality programme available. A standard guidelines by regulatory authorities need to be prescribed. Immediate challenge is to attract youth towards the Hospitality Programme. Continuous shortage in future may lead to war for talent acquisition.

Mr. Kunal Sood added three dimensions to maintain the work -life balance: Attracting the right quality of people and retaining them; Having the right quantity of people and fuelling their growth; & Relevance of people being Industry ready or match fit. He emphasized that it is significant for the management graduates to stay and prove their mettle in the industry for the initial years to reap benefits thereafter. Mr. Nisheeth Srivastava suggested the Industry to share responsibility in building the mindset of students for joining the sector while they are at their industrial training. He also advised that Training Modules should have continuous monitoring and mentoring from the Industry. Mr. K.V. Simon advocated the youth to take charge of themselves and come out of their parental protection culture, encouraging them to have balanced aspirations and maturity towards their career. Mr. Douglas Peter talked about the unrealistic expectations of the students who wish to be hired as managers just after passing out from a hotel management college. He suggested that the curriculum and industry practices need to be sensitized for effective coaching. He also questioned the students if they could become the change for future. Mr. Nawab Dilaweez Hasan expressed that time is important for people and long working hours are affecting their personal and social lives. He said that the hotel industry personnel should pursue a hobby to combat the stress at work. Mr. Deepak Behl informed the audience that open door policy should be practiced in the industry, where instead of hotel employees approaching the HR personnel for their issues, it should also be the other way round. He urged the industry on taking care of Internal Customers in order to retain them. After the Interactive discussions following proposal was unanimously agreed upon:- 1. A relationship between education, industry and the resources is to be created with a common platform to share the views, grieves and issues. 2. To change the way education is imparted, by involving the industry in academic endeavors. 3. More CSR to be taken up by the hotels by creating space for learning experience through exchange programs. 4. Integration of all IHMs under one umbrella for uniformity amongst the strategies guiding the institutes. 5. Diversification of curriculum to be conformed to, uniformly at all colleges, to cater to different levels of employees as per the industry requirement. 6. Getting International perspective in Indian Education and Hospitality Industry, to be globally accepted. 7. The faculties should be ahead of the curve of knowledge for the institutes to play a transformatory role. It was inspirational to see the progressive and positive approach of the Industry Representatives towards Active Industry – Institution Partnership. The panel discussion provided food for thought to make the needed transformation of the Education and the Hospitality Industry. The Research workshop A Research workshop on “Innovations in Tourism & Hospitality Research Relevant: Understanding Why Academics and Practitioners Approach Research Differently” was conducted by APacCHRIE (Asia-Pacific Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education). Representatives from APacCHRIE were Dr. J.S. Perry Hobson, Dr. Parikshat Singh Manhas and Mr. Sameer Thapa. Conference Report Presentation and Conclusion The conference concluded with the presentation of the conference report and vote of thanks by Mr. R. K. Bhandari, Principal, BCIHMCT & President IIHTTRC 2013, highlighting the salient features of the three days conference. He emphasized that the Conference would have enlightened the participants and stake holders to get an insight into the challenges and opportunities lying ahead due to the rapid changing technology, practices and trends in the hospitality and tourism sector. He thanked all the Researchers and Presenters for their excellent cooperation and contribution to the Tourism and Hospitality field. Expressing his gratitude towards all those who participated in the Conference, he appreciated the contribution of the Banarsidas Chandiwala Sewa Smarak Trust Society Group for providing all the necessary support in the organization of the conference.

India International Hotel Travel and Tourism Research Conference, 2013

Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology has organized the 3rd India International Hotel, Travel & Tourism Research Conference from January 29 to 31, 2013. The aim of this conference is to bring industry managers, tourism and hospitality researchers together to deliberate on the issues related to the travel and hospitality business. This conference will reveal the needs of guests, problems in performance and empowerment practices to improve quality of service along with the needed changes in the Hospitality and Tourism practices. Mr. D. K. Beri, Senior Vice President (Business & Corporate Affairs), Indian Hotels Co. Limited, Taj Group of Hotels, shall be the Chief Guest, along with Guest of Honour, Mr. Tushar Pandey, President and Country Head, Strategic Initiatives & Government Advisory, YES BANK Ltd. Professor J.S. Perry Hobson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Division of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Art at Taylor’s University (Malaysia), the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vacation Marketing and member of the Board of Directors of International Centre of Excellence in Tourism & Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) shall be among the Key Speakers deliberating on “Innovations in Hospitality and Tourism”. The other prominent keynote speakers would be Prof. Dr. S.P. Bansal, Vice Chancellor, Maharaja Agrasen University, Himanchal Pradesh, Mr. Gour Kanjilal, Executive Director, Indian Associtation of Tour Operator (IATO), Mr. GVR Sastry, Chief Operating Officer at Trail Blazer India Private Limited, New Delhi Area, India and Mr. M. D. Kapoor, Secretary General, The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI). The conference will profile formal presentations, developing a theme in each conference session, along with industry related forums and workshops broadly covering MICE Management; Sustaining Environment in Tourism & Hospitality; Human Resources: Issues and Challenges; Hotel Operations Management: Issues and Challenges; Food, Culture and life styles and impact of Social Media on Tourism and Hospitality. Chairpersons for different Sessions would be Dr. Kumar Ashutosh, Head, Dept of Tourism, CVS at University of Delhi, Dr. Inderjeet Dagar, Principal, CVS, University of Delhi, Dr. Ashish Dahiya, Associate Professor, Institute of Hotel & Tourism Management, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana and Dr. Manohar Sajnani, Director, Amity Institute of Travel and Tourism, Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh. A Panel Discussion would be highlight of this conference with discussion on “Challenges ahead for Hospitality Education & Hotels’ Role in addressing the issues” on January 31, 2013 at 1120 -1300 hrs. The panel would comprise of Mr. Arulmani, General Manager, Corp. Learning & Development, Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, Mr. K.V. Simon, CHA, Regional Vice President, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, Mr. Nawab Dilaweez Hasan, Senior Training Manager, The Leela Palace, New Delhi, Mr. Nisheeth Srivastava, Director Studies, National Council for HMCT&AN, Mr. Deepak Behl, Director Human Resources, The Grand New Delhi, Mr. Kunal Sood, Quality & Talent Development Manager, Crowne Plaza Today, New Delhi and Mr. R. K. Bhandari, Principal, BCIHMCT, New Delhi. A Research workshop on “Innovations in Tourism & Hospitality Research Relevant: Understanding Why Academics and Practitioners Approach Research Differently” will be conducted by APacCHRIE (Asia-Pacific Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education). Representatives from APacCHRIE would be Dr. J.S. Perry Hobson, Dr. Parikshat Singh Manhas and Mr. Sameer Thapa. Conference Proceedings (ISBN 978-81-920850-2-9) will be published and the congregation of Researchers and Scholars shall be perfect place for releasing “Indian Journal of Applied Hospitality and Tourism Research” Vol.5, (ISSN 0975-4954). The previous conferences held at BCIHMCT, were well attended by national and international delegates. During the conference, proceedings were complied in a book form with research work contributed by Indian Scholars as well as Scholars from NEWZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, SPAIN, UK, TAIWAN, USA AND SOUTH KOREA.

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