Over 200 students, alumni, lecturers and industry professionals from India and overseas participated at the PATA Youth Symposium 2015, held at Christ University, Bangalore, India on Friday, September 4, 2015.
The programme, under the theme ‘Human Resources Challenges and Opportunities for Tourism’s Next Generation’, was developed with guidance from Dr Chris Bottrill, Chairman of the PATA Human Capital Development Committee and Dean, Faculty of Global and Community Studies at Capilano University, Canada.
Hailing the immense success of the PATA Youth Symposium, Dr Bottrill said, “All members of our delegation were very impressed with the engagement of students in the topic of human resources and the future for employment and careers in the industry. The students demonstrated passion and showed remarkable insight to the challenges and opportunities that exist in the future for our industry.
“Christ University was an exceptional host and ensured that the event unfolded smoothly. We were also treated to a special day on campus when all students dressed in their traditional attire and celebrated their heritage. We are grateful to all involved for a successful and enjoyable day,” he added.
The formal programme commenced with an address by Prof Suresh Pai, Associate Dean – Management, Christ University. Prof Pai extended his appreciation to all the international delegates for arriving at Christ University, Bengaluru from different corners of the world. Dr Fr Abraham V M, Pro Vice Chancellor, Christ University, then congratulated the Department of Tourism Studies at Christ University for hosting the symposium on such a grand note.
PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy announced the inclusion of Christ University as the newest member of PATA under the Education Category. In his address, he highlighted the importance and significance of the symposium with its modern approach to engagement. He said that the relaxed and personal approach was designed to reduce the gap between the industry and students. Mr Hardy also congratulated Christ University in achieving PATA membership and presented Dr Tomy K Kallarakal, Head of the University’s Department of Tourism Studies with a memento on behalf of the Association.
Y. Bhg. Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, Deputy Director General (International Promotions), Tourism Malaysia delivered a presentation on ‘How to Promote a Destination’, focusing upon Malaysia. He stressed that, to be successful, you need to be creative to initiate new segmentations of your products. In 2020, Tourism Malaysia expects to increase number of visitor arrivals to 36 million and to generate 168 Billion MYR.
Philip Schaetz, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Dorsett Hospitality International, Hong Kong SAR, presented on the topic ‘Social Media Management vs Traditional in Tourism and Hospitality’. He stated that ‘social media and traditional marketing co-exist to complement each other. Social media is not cheap and not free. They require talents to drive and technology to support’.
Bert van Walbeek, Vice President for Area Business Development Asia Pacific, Safehotels Alliance AB, Thailand, updated the audience on the topic ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’. He said, “Preparing students with soft skills is as important as the hard, theoretical skills they are taught. The tourism business is, in the first place, a people business. In preparing for a career, students must understand that IQ gets them through school but it is EQ which makes them successful in their tourism or hospitality careers.
“Taking them out of the academic bubble into the real life needs more attention in order to make students more ‘selectable’ by organisations. Attitude is the most important selection criteria. The better prepared they are, the better the opportunity for a satisfying career and the chance that students remain in our industry where hard work and long hours are the norm in providing sincere service.”
All participants shared their views in round-table discussions on the following topics:
- What do you believe makes a great tourism employee?
- How will your job in tourism change in the next ten years?
- In what ways could we enhance respect for a career in tourism?
The Symposium concluded with Dr Tomy K Kallarakal presenting all the Speakers and International Delegates mementos as a token of appreciation on behalf of the Department of Tourism Studies, Christ University, Bangalore.
PATA Youth Symposium 2015 took place as part of an extensive programme in Bangalore that includes PATA Travel Mart 2015 and the PATA Executive and Board Meeting.
In recent years, the PATA Human Capital Development Committee has organised successful educational events at various institutions including UCSI University Sarawak Campus (April 2010), Institute for Tourism Studies (September 2010),Beijing International Studies University (April 2011) and Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur (April 2012), Lyceum of the Philippines University, Manila (September 2012), Thammasat University, Bangkok (April 2013), Chengdu Polytechnic, Huayuan Campus, China (September 2013), Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai Campus, China, (May 2014), Royal University of Phnom Penh (September 2014) and Sichuan Tourism School, Chengdu, (April 2015).