Anusha Durga
Travel and Tourism is the world’s largest industry in terms of employment and second to oil industry in terms of turnover. It is a service-based industry and requires professionals and specialists skilled in various disciplines. The industry broadly covers the following areas:
     
  • Hotels restaurants and tourist complexes 
  • Travel agencies, tour operators
  • Transport facilities for tourists 
  • Amusement, entertainment and sports units for tourist 
  • Units providing cultural, adventure and wildlife experiences to tourist.
The Department of Tourism under the Central Government is the nodal agency for the formulation of national policies and programs and is assisted by the Director-General of Tourism, with offices in India and abroad. The State Directorates of Tourism are responsible for the publicizing and promoting travel within India for domestic tourists. The Tourism Finance Corporation of India has been set up to meet the loan requirements of the tourism industry.
The work in the industry essentially involves providing services like boarding, lodging and travelling to people who are away from home, either on business or on holiday. The two most important activities related to the industry are therefore accommodation and travelling i.e. hotel industry and travel trade. The Hotel Industry has been discussed separately. Under travel trade we would be looking at the major tasks or duties performed by Travel Agents and Tour Operators.
Career prospects in Travel and Tourism are extremely encouraging. The number of international tourists has increased from 70 million in 1960 to 700 million by the year 2000. As per World Tourism Organisation estimates it is going to hit 1.5 billion in the next 20 years. India share is abysmally low at half percent. In 1999 India got 2.5 million international tourists and this is expected to rise up to six million by 2010.Annualy the industry earns Rs 14,000 crore in foreign exchange for the exchequer.
Education Qualification:
Simple graduates, with the requisite personal attributes can gain entry into this industry. However, with the growing professionalism in every field including travel and tourism, aspirants for a career in this field should take specialized training, so as to give themselves an edge in the job market. 
There are a number of good institutions, which offer training courses in different aspects of travel and tourism. The Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (IITM) is one such institute, which runs a 24-month diploma course in Tourism Management at Gwalior. Graduates of not more than 28 years of age are eligible to enroll in the course after qualifying the entrance exam. Other courses offered by the institute include destination management, language courses, wildlife tourism management etc. The IITM through its chapter at Delhi, Lucknow and Thiruvananthapuram has been conducting management development programs. The Delhi chapter of the institute also offers many short term courses like Basic Course on Computer Application in Tourism and Travel Agency; Basic Course on Air Travel Fares and Ticketing; Basic course in Airlines, Travel Agency and Tour Operation Management and Foreign Language Courses.
Two year PG courses and one year PG Diploma (part time or
correspondence) are available at various universities/institutes. Indira
Gandhi National Open University conducts Bachelor in Tourism Studies through
distance education for 10+2 pass. Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi offers two-year PG
diploma program in Cultural Heritage and Tourism. Number of Universities like
Delhi University offers tourism as a subject.
 
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