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Hospemag @ The 5th India International Hotel,Travel & Tourism Research Conference, New Delhi

Deepshikha; our senior consultant was at The 5th India International Hotel,Travel & Tourism Research Conference, New Delhi held at the Banrsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology from the 11th to the 13th Feb,2015.

This is her account of the event

I was a participant at the Conference on day one and would like to share my experience of the same. The Conference started in the morning at about 0945 hrs at the Institute's Auditorium. It was attended by delegates from the Industry, Speakers from abroad, Research Scholars from other Hotel Management Colleges and Institutes,faculty members and Students.

Mr R K Bhandari,Principal, BCIHMT gave the Welcome address.  He then welcomed Mr Rajindera Kumar, Director Vivanta by Taj Ambassador who was the Chief Guest who spoke about what it takes to succeed in the Hospitality sector.  This was followed by a key note address by Professor Fevzi Okumus, Editor In Chief at the IJCHM, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, USA.   Prof Okumus is a Research Scholar and Editor In Chief and spoke about "Publishing in Top Tier Hospitality and Tourism Journals.He explained all about writing a paper,the methodology,how the content should be? Why do papers get rejected? This was explained in great detail.

This was followed by a Tea Break for half an hour during which I got a chance to interact with Prof Okumus and other participants at the Conference.  Post that the sessions continued at the College Building.The Technical sessions started around 0100 hrs onwards and the topic for the same was "Emerging Trends in Tourism,Travel & Hospitality". The first speaker for this was Ms Guliz Coskun - Her subject was " Inverstigating the impacts of hedonic and Utilitarian Values on Satisfaction in Food Festival:A Cross Cultural Study - This was beautifully explained by her through an example of a food festival that her College had organized in 2013.  She spoke about ethnicity in Cultures and how it impacts food,people's preferences and their dislikes.

The next speaker was Dr Brijesh Kumar and his topic was " An Empirical Study on the Emerging Trends in Hospitality & Tourism Industry :A Case of Delhi NCR - This was a throughly researched and well prepared topic .Dr Kumar shared data to show how people's choice of having Delhi as their preferred Holiday destination is on the decline since 2008 and the factors responsible for it.Dr Kumar also shared how the growing crime rate and the lack of budget hotels have added to the decline factor and what steps the government can take to improve it. The third session was by Dr Bharti Gupta and her topic was "Gastronomy : A Resource for Creative Tourism - She shared the presentation beautifully giving examples of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, its cuisine -the waazwan which is a 36 course meal - how each of the course becomes a process in itself,how the food of a particular state impacts the culture and their behaviour pattern.

Lastly the session "Event Tourism in Goa- A Case Study of Tripurarypurnima Sankhalim-by Vanita Patil delved into how the people of Goa have started looking at alternate options in Tourism to develop more avenues besides just calling Goa - A City of Sun,Sea and Sand . She illustrated this by giving an example of this local fsetival which comes at the end of Diwali week.After this the speakers were given Certificates and there was a lunch break. Over the next two days sessions were held on varying topics on Hospitality Dr. Manohar Sajnani, Dean, Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism and Director, Amity Institute of Travel & Tourism, Amity University, India elaborated upon “Emerging Global Trends, Opportunities and Challenges in Travel and Tourism Sector” during his speech at the start of the second day of conference.

The technical sessions were carried out on several themes such as, Emerging Trends in Tourism, Travel and Hospitality; Green Practices & Sustaining Environment in Hospitality & Tourism; Managing Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism; Tourism and Hospitality Marketing Strategies and Consumer Behaviour; Hotel Operations and Food Service Management and Contemporary Issues in Hospitality & Tourism on 11th and 12th February, 2015. The third day of IIHTTRC commenced with the Keynote address of Dr. Asad Mohsin, Associate Professor, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato and Associate Director, New Zealand India Research Institute (Victoria University of Wellington) on “Examining Staff Turnover in Luxury Hotels of India”.

Dr. Swarup Sinha, Principal, ITC Hospitality Institute discussed “Expectation of Hospitality Industry from the Hotel Management Graduates: Are they ready to be hired?” to motivate students and educators, help mitigate the gap between industry and academia. A Panel Discussion on “Industry’s Role in Improving Hospitality Education in India” concluded the three day conference consisting of the esteemed panelists namely Maj. Gen. (Retd.) B.N. Kaul, Pro Vice Chancellor, Amity University, Rajasthan; Chef Y.B. Mathur, Executive Director, Culinary Design & Application Group; Ms. Viniti Behl, Manager Corporate - Learning & Development, Taj Group of Hotels; Dr. Swarup Sinha, Principal, ITC Hospitality Management Institute; Ms. Nitika Bajaj, HR & Talent Development Manager, Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini and Mr. R. K. Bhandari, Principal BCIHMCT.

It was wonderful to be a part of this Conference as it gave the participants an insight into the various aspects of hospitality,the trends emerging in the sector, the challenges being faced and the solutions . It was a platform to interact and mingle with delegates, Colleagues and fellow members from the fraternity and share and discuss our views and opinions on the same.