ABDUL LATHEEF NAHA
The Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management is an institution to take note of when it comes to a career in the travel and tourism industry.
Many people say the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), Gwalior, is the last word in tourism management studies. Whether we agree with it or not, this autonomous institution, under the Union Ministry of Tourism and Culture, is one of the premier centres in the country offering training, education and research in the highly dynamic travel and tourism sector.Started in 1983 in New Delhi, on the realisation that the country was in need of tourism professionals with excellence, and shifted to Gwalior in 1992, the institute today enjoys a commanding position among the sectoral business schools in the country. It runs a full-fledged additional centre for eastern India in Bhubaneswar and has plans to open a campus in Noida, near Delhi, soon.The institute has given accreditation to different institutes to function as its regional chapters at New Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur and Dehra Dun.It has been designated as the international focal point of the Asia-Pacific Educational and Training Institutes in Tourism (APETIT), with an objective of strengthening the quantitative and qualitative needs for training, education and research in Asia-Pacific countries.The institute offers postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in tourism and travel. It also conducts short-term management development programme on various aspects of tourism and travel, apart from sponsored programmes for different States and the Union Government and autonomous bodies.The institute is known for its honours degree in tourism management (BTM), postgraduate diploma in business management (PGDBM) and postgraduate diploma in tourism management (PGDTM).Fifty students each are admitted annually to the three-year BTM course and 11-month PGDTM course. The intake for the two-year PGDBM, equivalent to MBA, is 60. Besides, the institute admits 40 students for its nine-month diploma in travel and tourism industry management (PGDTTIM) offered through its chapters.Admission to IITTM courses will be on the basis of an all-India entrance examination to be held at centres across the country. Plus Two is the qualification for admission to BTM (Honours) programme, which trains youngsters for careers in travel, tourism and air cargo management. The subjects taught in the six semesters of the programme include tourism concepts and impact, travel agency and tour operation, management concepts, tourism products, transport in travel and tourism, business communication, business economics, accounting, geography, tourism marketing, human resources management, tourism laws, tourism research, hospitality and resort management, foreign languages, advertising tourism, air transport management and adventure tourism.The institute admits 50 students at Gwalior and 30 at its Bhubaneswar centre for BTM. The fee charged for BTM last year was Rs. 32,650.Graduates can apply for the two-year PGDBM and 11-month PDGTM courses. Admission to PGDBM, however, will be on the basis of CAT score, group discussion and personal interview.The annual fee for PGDBM is Rs. 77,000 for Indian students and $2500 for NRI and NRI-sponsored candidates. Sixty students are admitted at Gwalior and 50 at Bhubaneswar.The last year's fee for PGDTM was Rs. 64,000. The course is spread over two semesters, with two-month on-the-job training at the end of the course.The institute has plans to launch a two-year postgraduate diploma course in tourism and leisure management, capacity-building for service provider (CBSP) and other short-term programmes on tourism and travel.The specialisations currently offered by the institute are cargo, ticketing, service marketing, information technology and tour operations.The reputation of the institute owes not only to its uniquely designed courses, pedagogy and management development programmes but also to a team of young and motivated faculty.Director Sitikantha Mishra says the growth of the travel and tourism industry today depends greatly on the quality of personnel. Tourism, he says, has emerged as a key sector of the world economy, proving that it has enormous power and vibrancy to create ample employment opportunities and the capacity to address many dimensions of unemployment.