Future of tourism Editorial 11th Nov’19 FinancialExpress

Headline : Future of tourism Editorial 11th Nov’19 FinancialExpress

Details :

World Tourism Day:
  • For the first time, India was the host country for the official celebration of the World Tourism Day on September 27.
  • It was themed ‘Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All’, highlights the sector’s contribution in employment generation.
Importance of tourism sector especially in employment generation:
  • Tourism sector’s contributions to the country’s economy needs to get recognised.
  • Benefiting the larger ecosystem with its direct and indirect advantages, the sector today enjoys the status of being one of the key generators of employment in the country.
  • In 2017-18, over 81 million Indians, accounting to 12.4% of the total workforce, were employed by the sector. This number is expected to grow manifold in the coming years.
The sector is providing new avenues of employment:
    • As tourism diversifies, it has opened new avenues for employment for the skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled talent across the length and breadth of the country.
    • Rural areas also benefitting: Currently, while a large percentage of the talent comes from the urban areas, there has been a definite increase in the number of talent from the rural areas joining the workforce.
    • Offbeat jobs are created: As growth flows in from new sub-sectors such as alternate accommodations, experiences, intracity cabs and more, new offbeat jobs are being created every day.
  • For example, many are finding opportunities as wine connoisseurs in the vineyards of Nashik, as adventure sports trainers in Leh and Ladakh, as entertainers and performers at the cultural and music festivals in Rann of Kutch, among others.
  • Some of these opportunities, up until the past few years, either did not exist or existed in small numbers.
Unleashing the full potential of tourism sector requires supply of suitable labour force:
  • While there are huge employment opportunities in the sector, the industry faces a talent supply-and-demand mismatch.
  • To unleash the potential of the sector as a ‘job creator’, we must focus on creating a talent pool that meets the requirements of 40 million new jobs (by some estimates) that will be created in the next five years.
Various aspects to meeting the skill set demands of the tourism sector
Demand for tech-skilled talent:
  • One of the major factors contributing to the growth of employment in the sector is rapid adoption of technology—which has resulted into an increase in the demand for tech-skilled talent.
  • However, the tech-talent supply-and-demand gap remains wide, especially as our educational institutions fail to offer our tech graduates with necessary practical technology and domain knowledge.
What to do meet the demand?
    • There is an immediate correction in the curriculum—if we are to prepare our next-in-line talent for the jobs that shall become available in the next three to five years.
    • It is also important to instill a culture that focuses on applied learning.
    • Upskilling:
  • As upgrades to technology stacks become more frequent, there is a quintessential need for employers to upskill their talent.
  • This can be done through on-the-job training modules and access to global professional certifications (which are usually too expensive for an average salaried employee).
  • Globally, travel companies have recognised the need for steadily moving towards upskilling their talent and are already moving in that direction—we must do so in India, too.
Gender Inclusivity is lacking:
  • Another area that can help bridge the talent gap is by driving inclusivity within the sector in India. In India, only 12% of women are employed by the sector.
  • Globally, travel and tourism stands out with a strong representation of women than the labour market as whole.
  • In India, despite the growth in the sector, we have shown up poorly in employing the women force (as against the global pattern where growth in industry led to growth in jobs for women).
What to do to correct this?
  • What is needed is a holistic initiative that brings together the entire ecosystem in driving gender mainstreaming across levels.
  • Some of these measures could focus on improving access to professional training for mid-level jobs, promoting women entrepreneurship and equal access to start-up grants and more.
Problem of high attrition in the industry:
  • The industry faces another challenge today, i.e. retaining existing, skilled and trained talent.
  • Globally, countries are fighting with high attrition in the travel and tourism sector, with many choosing to opt out of the sector within the first decade of their career.
What to do to improve retention in the industry?
  • To deal with this, India must focus on offering opportunities that allow talent to work on new and innovative projects—with a promise of continued learning and growth.
  • It is an area that the country can definitely address, given the pace at which the sector is diversifying.
  • India’s travel and tourism industry is undergoing rapid transformation, with the country on its way to becoming the third-largest tourism economy by 2028.
  • If we are to capitalise on the sector’s growth to stimulate job creation, we must invest in building an ecosystem that provides opportunities for specialised training and education, gender inclusivity, entrepreneurship—with a focus on helping talent succeed in the ever-evolving travel world.
GS Paper III: Economy
Section : Editorial Analysis