The fourth India International Hotel, Travel and Tourism Research Conference (IIHTTRC) organised by Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology (BCIHMCT) Delhi has urged the tourism industry stakeholders to be sensitive to the changing traveller trends. The four-day conference currently underway at the Institute will bring together travel and hospitality industry managers and researchers to deliberate on issues related to travel, tourism and hospitality business.
Speaking at the inaugural of the conference, Gaur Kanjilal, Executive Director, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) said that the modern travellers are increasingly conscious about the environment and also looking for value-for-money products and destinations. The stakeholders of the industry, including tour operators as well as the hospitality industry have to re-position their service delivery system to provide more local experiences around food, local culture, etc. to tourists. He said that there has been major change in the mindset of the country’s planners towards tourism.
Therdchai (Ted) Choibamroong, Dean, Graduate School of Tourism Management (National Institute of Development Administration), Bangkok said that it was time for countries to decide whether they wanted quality or quantity tourism. Citing the example of four major tourism economies in the world, he said that while France received the highest number of tourists, in terms of tourism receipts, the US which received far lesser number compared to France, was way ahead. The major trends that would transform the travel and tourism industry in future, according to Choibamroong, were climate change, resource shortage, staying at home, time versus money, nostalgia, cultures, etc. While industry is going hi-tech in terms of adaption of modern technology, he informed that the tourist would be looking at ‘hi-touch’. While the industry would be harping more on “tangible” tourism assets, the tourist would be looking at the “intangibles”, Ted said. He also spoke against “commodification” of cultural assets of the country and the destination.
In his presentation on Green Economy, Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy from School of Tourism, Bournemouth University, UK, said that while physical, financial and human resource capital has been increasing globally, the natural capital is depleting. He said that in the entire green gas emissions, travel and tourism industry contributes 5 to 15 per cent. Therefore, the industry has the duty to support the effort to reduce the green gas emissions by 60 per cent. He urged the industry to seriously adopt a “bio-regional” approach in their operations to reduce environmental impact.
During the conference, research papers topics like Marketing Management in Tourism and Hotel operations, Sustaining Environment in Tourism, Destination Development and Promotion of Tourism, Marketing Issues in Tourism Products and Services, Food Service Management, HR management, etc. will be presented.