Addressing the representatives and stakeholders from hospitality sector on the second day of the FHRAI’s Golden Jubilee Convention here, Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy reiterated the increased focus and importance given to skill development by Narendra Modi government stating that the present government has made a separate ministry for skill development. Indicating the ratio of skilled people across the globe, he pointed towards the dismal present situation in India. While the ratio was 46% of the total workforce in China, 58% in USA, 70% in Germany, 68% in UK, 80% in Japan, 96% in Korea, it was only a meager 4.5 % in India, he asserted.
Indicating towards the reality that around 17% of the engineering graduates and 15% of management graduates continue to be unemployed in India, Mr. Rudy stressed that vocational education should have been a part of primary education; reasoning that 12 years of primary education for the children could never do what 12 days of skill education can. Stating that there are 500 million people to be trained in India, Mr. Rudy added that there is a need for 3 crore people in the construction sector, 1.7 crore in retail sector, 1 million in furniture sector, 5 million in hotel sector, 5 million in automobile sector and so on. For this 250 million people need to be trained immediately, but unfortunately, only 30% of the these people can afford skill development training.
Mr. Rudy also informed that there are 36 sector skill councils in India right now which can mobilize the right kind of people and these sector skill councils are run by the industry heads and not by the govt. The National Skills Qualification Framework has been instituted which gives a rating of 1-10 depending on the skill level and these ratings are acceptable throughout India, he added. Mr Rudy further said that right now every job in India has been mapped. In fact, a total of 70,000 jobs have been mapped by now. He was happy that India is on its way to be the next human resources capital in the world.
Earlier in the day, Odisha Tourism Secretary Mr. L N Gupta made a presentation to the hospitality sector delegates describing the tourism potential of Odisha and initiatives of state government to promote investment opportunities in the state. Citing the Discovery Channel which has rated Odisha among the must-visit destinations for most tourists, Mr. Gupta said that there is huge untapped tourism potential in the state. Mr. Gupta asserted that, through the new Industrial Policy, the state has aimed to be a highly competitive and progressive among all the states and to make tourism a priority as well as a focus sector for next five years. The policy aims to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, he added. Elaborating on the state government’s initiatives to facilitate investors in the hospitality sector, Mr. Gupta said that State level Facilitation Cell (SLFC) has been formed with senior officials being available fulltime for speedy resolution of all project related issues and grievances, to assess project proposals and utility requirements, to follow up for timely approvals for both establishment and operations, to provide deemed approvals wherever required. While the SLFC will guide and assist investors and new entrepreneurs, existing investors facing any issues in setting up or operations of the industries are also invited to SLFC for speedy resolution said Mr. Gupta adding that online grievance redressal mechanism can be accessed for any grievance.
Mr. Gupta highlighted the vast coastline of the state, good road and air connectivity for the tourists coming to Odisha, the diamond triangle Buddhist circuit covering Ashokan edicts at Dhauligiri, Lalitgiri, Udaygiri, Ratnagiri and about the Buddhist festival organized every year, mostly at these sites, which attract large number of tourists to the state. He also stressed on nature tourism, rare Olive Ridley turtles, and typical variety of red crabs and wonderful eco-tourism spots of Odisha as hot favourite tourism destinations of Odisha. Mr. Gupta also informed that leading hoteliers like Lemontree, Brahmaputra, Newport, Fortune Hotels and others have shown keen interest to set up new hotels in Odisha”
The second day of the convention also witnessed several other technical session covering crucial aspects of the industry. Mr. Rakesh Sarna, MD & CEO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd. which has the flagship brand Taj group of hotels threw light on various aspects important to the industry as a whole on his a very candid chat with Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Mr. Prabhu Chawla.
The technical session on ‘Iconic Hospitality Properties creating Tourism Destinations – Is it lack of Government support or absence of Entrepreneurship’ witnessed speakers elaborating on the constraints in terms of policy support, infrastructure and the greatest problem facing tourism development being lack of integrated approach. Deliberating in this technical session, President of Indian Association of Tour Operators Mr. Subash Goyal said that the govt is announcing policies without checking for implementation of the previous policies and the support is only piecemeal. He advised that instead of depending on government support, the hoteliers need to come together and build infrastructure needed to bring the tourists into the state. As far as Odisha is concerned, the greatest problem is connectivity from international destinations, he added. Among the other speakers Mr. Nakul Anand, Director, ITC, Mr. Mark Sayer, MD, Aspira Hospitality and Mr. Ashley Monteiro, MD, Pathfinders Travel Group echoed similar views.
The second day of FHRAI’s Golden Jubilee convention also witnessed a unique Wine Tasting and Education session curated by renowned professional in the sector Mr. Keith Wayne Edgar and specialists Ms. Sabina Corsini, Mr. M W Liam Steevenson, Ms. Kaberi Basu Mahagama and Mr. Kunal Kaul, who elaborated on over 40 different kinds of wines available across the globe.
One-of-its-kind ‘World Tourism Day Carnival’ on 27th September (Sunday):
The unique World Tourism Day Carnival scheduled from 8am-10am on 27th September at Bhubaneswar will essentially be a cultural extravaganza with around 7 – 8 floats specially designed for this Carnival on different themes related to Tourism sector like World Tourism, Odisha Tourism, FHRAI and few others on different tourism related themes like Culture, Wildlife, Tribal Life etc. Musical bands of Odisha police, Indian Navy along with around 15 Dance Troupes from across the country, hundreds of students in colourful attires along with bikers and Vintage Cars will be part of the entourage in this Carnival. Consul Generals from four Countries France, Italy, USA and Thailand will be part of the carnival, which will be flagged off by His Excellency Governor of Odisha Dr. S C Jamir.