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‘Co-creation the buzzword for tourism sector in future’

March 15, 2024 11:12 pm | Updated 11:13 pm IST - PUDUCHERRY

Students receiving offer letters and merit certificates at the institute-industry interface recently event held by Department of Tourism Studies, Pondicherry University, and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Latvia. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Department of Tourism Studies, Pondicherry University recently tied up with the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Latvia for a two-day institute-industry interface event that presented knowledge-sharing sessions and cultural shows.

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Inaugurating “Akanksha ‘24”, the annual flagship of the department, Agita Livina, Professor and Director, Institute of Social, Economic and Humanities Research, Vidzeme University, who was chief guest, said co-creation and co-ideation were poised to be the buzz words of tourism in the next decade. The curriculum of tourism academia need to give due emphasis to these concepts, she said.

The event, supported by the Bureau of Indian Standards, featured panel discussions and special lectures by experienced industry practitioners, entrepreneurs, and interactive sessions with tourism studies faculty members from across the country. Highlighting the digital and technical skills required for tourism leaders, Ms. Livina also emphasised the imperative for students to develop entrepreneurial and experimental mindsets.

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K. Tharanikkarasu, Vice-Chancellor (i/c), Pondicherry University, in his presidential address, stressed the need to strengthen destination marketing. Advocating an increased focus on integration of ICT with tourism offerings and services, he also suggested ways and means through which educational institutions offering tourism courses can underscore sustainable tourism management.

Wilfred Selvaraj, Managing Director, LGT Holidays, said collaborative programmes with industry can facilitate mentoring of student by experienced practitioners. He felt it was important to design programmes for strengthening the functional skill sets of the students.

Uma Shankar Prasad Yadav, Scientist and Deputy Director General (South), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), dwelt on the formulation of standards and conformity assessment as essential tool for tourism industry. Setting appropriate standards framework for adventure, farm, nature-based tourism, etc. is the need of the hour, he said.

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A BIS team from Chennai gave a detailed account of Certification and Quality Control for Tourism and allied industries. One of the sessions was devoted to “Women in Tourism: Trends and Challenges”. The session delved on the issues and challenges faced by women workforce in tourism and hospitality industries. Another session on “The Dynamics of New Age Tourism Marketing” examined the influences of Artificial Intelligence on “Smart Tourism”, especially the complementarity of AI in enhancing service delivery.

The “Straight from the Author” session featured presentation of the book “Avoti” by the author Janis Bikse, faculty, Vidzeme Institute of Applied Sciences, Latvia. The book portrays the indigenous and organic attractions of Europe and insights on how to tap them for benefits to tourism industry.

R .C. Anu Chandran, Head of Tourism Studies, P. Natarajan Head, Department of Commerce, Y.Venkata Rao, Dean (Students Welfare), Sherry Abraham, event coordinator and Muzammil, student coordinator spoke.

Merit certificates were given to Arathi Agarwal (co-curricular), Muhammed Rishal (academic excellence) and B.George, Head, Department of Tourism, Madurai Kamaraj University College (distinguished alumnus).

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