Staff Correspondent

International symposium on hospitality industry begins

  • India requires an additional 1,50,000 hotel rooms by 2011
  • There will be 300 more low cost aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region by 2008

    Manipal: Russel Arthur Smith, Vice-Dean of Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management, Singapore, said on Tuesday that the hospitality industry should keep pace with the tourism sector, which was expanding rapidly in South Asia.

    He was delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of a two-day international symposium on "Hospitality Vision 2007" on "Emerging Trends in Hospitality Industry" organised by Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA), a unit of the Manipal University here.

    Dr. Smith said the demand for air travel would lead to more demand for hotels.

    India required an additional 1,50,000 hotel rooms by 2011. Many air carriers had lower fares resulting in more demand.

    Because of these low cost air carriers, an additional 30 per cent of passengers could afford to fly, he said.

    The low cost air carriers would keep pace with the demand so would the airports and related infrastructure. According to the United National World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), there would be 300 more low cost aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region by 2008.

    Another important tool, data-driven decision making, would help in knowing customers who were profitable and who would cancel their accounts. Market segmentation could give a company a substantial competitive advantage, he said.

    The purpose here was to identify customers, whose behaviour could be changed or whose needs were not being met, Dr. Smith said.

    In his inaugural address, Pro-Chancellor of Manipal University H.S. Ballal said that the hospitality industry should keep pace with changing times. After liberalisation, India had become a much sought after country.

    Many foreign companies and universities were keen on India. Indian universities could meet the challenges posed by those abroad provided the Government created a level playing field.

    Admission was strictly on the basis of merit, Prof. Ballal said.

    Chief Administrator of Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration B.N. Kaul welcomed the gathering.

    Y.G. Tharakan, professor, Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, gave a brief overview of the symposium.

    Registrar of the Manipal University Vinod Bhat was present.

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