Inside Track. Tourism Education from India

Namaste! From India.
Dr. Sanjay Mehta 
I, Dr. Sanjay Mehta, feel proud as the Director of GTTP India to communicate to you with this newsletter. GTTP is an alliance between the Travel and Tourism Industry and the Education sector. I as an educationist by heart and profession could very well understand the need for this curriculum to be introduced in our country so that our students could connect with others globally. 

Today, I feel elated to present the third virtual edition of this newsletter from GTTP India. 

The journey of GTTP India has been exciting, but also challenging. It has given us days to feel proud about, as well as sleepless nights. “Passport to the World” was launched in 2016 as a pilot project in our country with just 52 students. We offered this curriculum with a strong desire to reach out to the majority of students, but our tiresome journey began when the Government could not financially support the project. We decided to continue our endeavor and established a self-reliant and self-sustainable model. This became an excellent example of a Private-Public Partnership. The educational institutions and a few local partners welcomed our efforts and desire with open hands and pockets. With this honest, continuous and consistent effort, today we have participation from 15 schools and 2 universities with a registration of 523 students in our GTTP India family.

The Travel and Tourism industry is the fastest growing service industry in the world. In a country like India, which has diversity in landforms and attractions, the tourism sector has a lot to contribute. It is noted by people in the industry that there is always a shortage of trained personnel in our sector. We surveyed our school to find out how many students were interested in taking up roles in the travel and tourism industry and how many would get systematically trained for it. As expected, we found that students were not clear about what they would study, what could be their learning outcomes and how would they’d be absorbed in the industry. Thus, we decided to take this curriculum to various schools and colleges so that students could get oriented with this career perspective. During our pilot project, we got the satisfaction of preparing young aspirants to choose a career in this ever-demanding industry. 

We are very keen on training our teachers and we are blessed that we have our colleague directors who have spared their valuable time with us. We were encouraging our trained teachers to conduct the classes, organize various field trips and practical training. They visited the Travel and Tourism fairs along with all the GTTP registered students and so on. GTTP India hosted various competitions at a national level to keep the curricular spirits high. 

We have seen a progressive rise of GTTP India. Our students participated in the Research competition in Nice, France. Once our students started participating in the conference, it motivated many others to join and participate with full zeal and enthusiasm. 

Before the onset of the pandemic, we had prepared our Digital recording studio in a school’s campus. This studio was inaugurated by Mr. Flavio and has been a blessing in disguise during this phase. 

The year 2020 has shown us a different facet of life with the pandemic. Countries had to go into lockdown in major parts of the world. International as well as domestic travel was curtailed. We are still passing through the phase where travel has started but for social purposes only. Leisure and holiday travel has still not picked up. 

Thus, the tourism industry is suffering. I, along with my coordinators, Dr. ManishaVyas and Dr. RuchikaAgrawal have taken up a study to find out methods for the revival of this industry and our abstract has been accepted in an international journal. We are happy that the subjects of this research were students who have studied tourism and the majority of them were GTTP students.  We have got very good and practical responses from students who could think out of the box for revival. Another research project was conducted by me and Dr. ManishaVyas on the adaptability of teachers in the new teaching methodology and we presented the research in a National Conference on Challenges to future education in the context of the present scenario. 

As a tradition, we used to organize a Convocation ceremony of all the students enrolled in GTTP in March. This year, as we could not gather a crowd of more than 50, we organized a virtual convocation. I am indebted to Ms. Anne Lotter and Ms. Claire Steiner who joined us for the ceremony. 

Hero Story

This month’s Hero Stories focus on two of our GTTP students, Dishita & Dev.

At 13 years oldMs. Dishita Singh, who recently joined the GTTP course, has learned the language of machine that is Coding during these days of lockdown. She was a part of the research group led by Codeovate. She has made her first programme in the form of a website on ’TRAVEL- TOURISM ‘. It provides guidelines to tourists about various places of interest, people and some interesting facts. Click here to view her work.

Dev Makwana, the winner of the research competition and attendee of the Nice Conference, is preparing for his full-time master’s programme in travel and tourism. He is preparing to enter the most premium colleges in India. 

Now let’s hear from Anne:

Thank you Dr. Sanjay. Your energy and enthusiasm to create a dynamic training programme for GTTP is infectious!  Building a digital recording studio to train teachers across India is inspirational and combining this with your industry engagement at a local level is a winning formula.  I look forward to watching GTTP India go from strength to strength. 

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