The hospitality industry is poised for a fast-paced growth in the coming year with multinational firms planning huge investments across the country, experts in the industry said here on Wednesday.

They were addressing a press meet on the admission procedures and courses offered at the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (IHMCTAN), Chennai.

Tourism Secretary V. Irai Anbu said that 2,500 new rooms would be added to star hotels in the city next year and this was an indicator of the growing demand for students from hotel management institutes.

While awareness of the courses and their prospects was increasing, he said it was important to reach out to rural students. The domestic tourist segment is emerging as a large market, said D. Subhash, Regional Director, Union Ministry of Tourism.

Tourism has picked up among the middle-income group in the country, which is contributing largely for the domestic tourism, he said.

Leo J Fernando, Director (Operations), Asiana Hotels, observed that the supply of qualified manpower was below the demand. Every year in the State there was need for over 5,000 students who have passed out of hotel management institutes and the demand would further grow, he added.

S. Raja Mohan, Master Trainer, Department of Personnel and Training of IHMCTAN, said the Institute has started its admission for the next academic year.

The all-India Joint Entrance Exam for the three-year degree course in hospitality and hotel administration is scheduled to be held in May. Selected students would be admitted to any of the 31 government institutes, affiliated to the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology.

IHMCTAN, Chennai, offers a range of diploma courses, including bakery and confectionary, front-office management, food and nutrition and food safety management. Short-term courses for housewives are also offered at the Institute. Admissions for PG Diploma courses in accommodation operation and management, dietetics and hospital food service are also open. Applications are available at IHMCTAN, C.I.T. Campus, Taramani. Ph: 22542029.

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