| A LA CARTE: The market for three-star hotels in India is huge
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), London, estimates that by 2017, the hotel and tourism sectors will employ around 262 million people. This means about 10 per cent of the world’s total employment will be generated by this industry alone. What’s more, India will be the world’s third largest tourism market by 2013. According to experts, the hospitality industry in the country will see around 40 international hotel brands in the next few years.
Nowadays, even the retail industry, defence establishments, banks, IT and the insurance sector are hiring hospitality graduates. There is also a demand for outsourcing managers as most corporates and hospitals outsource their support services. “Every ninth person in the world is employed in the hospitality sector. The sector hasn’t been affected much by the downturn, because it’s virtually impossible to replace human beings with machines,” says Sushil Sukhwani, director of Edwise, a foreign education consulting agency.
Agrees Pooja Grover, HR manager, Oberoi Grand, Calcutta, “Job prospects in the field look bright as several international chains are making their foray in India.” Adds Sukhwani, “Big names like Hilton and Sheraton are likely to open new ventures in India and China.”
You could expect a windfall of jobs over the next 10 years in the sector in India, believes David Luke, head of international student affairs, University College Birmingham. “At the moment there are too many luxury or boutique hotels which are way too expensive. You don’t have enough budget hotels in the three-star category even though domestic tourism is flourishing,” he says.
Prakash Kumar of Orissa has been working as an assistant restaurant manager in room dining, Taj Executive Club, Minibar and Nargila Café of the Taj Palace Hotel in Dubai for two years. “Training abroad improves your international knowledge base, cross cultural communication and exposure. You also get to know about regional travel and hospitality patterns, multi national human resources management, future developments and better career opportunities,” says he.
For those hungry for a global experience, countries such as Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US are possible destinations. Opportunities in Switzerland, the Mecca of hospitality education, have already been discussed in these columns (September 24, 2009).
There are over a hundred Indian students of hospitality in University College Birmingham. A bachelors takes four years, including a year’s paid internship. Tuition fee is £7,500 (Rs 5,22,133) per year and living costs around £5,000 (Rs 3,48,088). Students are allowed to work part time for 20 hours a week and full time in the summer vacation. “Internships offer around £230 (Rs 16,000) per week,” informs Luke.
The department of hospitality, leisure and tourism management at Oxford Brooks University has excellent links with industry as well as other academic institutes and professional bodies. It’s also actively involved in academic research, publishing and consultancy. The institute offers MSc and BSc in hospitality and tourism.
Sheffield Hallam University churns out graduates who are lapped up by top recruiters such as Marriott Hotels and Disney and Scott Wilson. “With some of the world’s leading experts and researchers, their work ensures the latest knowledge and practice is fed into teaching,” reads its website.
According to Bhanu Kaushik, India representative of the University of Bedfordshire, “Our travel, tourism and hospitality courses don’t just help students find employment with top companies, but encourage them towards entrepreneurial ventures.”
The Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School in New South Wales is owned by the Laureate Hospitality Education (LHE), a global group that provides hospitality, tourism, event, sport and entertainment management education to students from over 100 countries. “Screening is rigorous to ensure the quality of graduating students,” warns Prateek Gujral, area manager (Indian subcontinent), LHE.
Of the 350 students at Blue Mountains, 280 are international. The bachelors course is of two and a half years including two paid internships of six months each. Although the yearly tuition fee is on the higher side (AUD 22,000 or Rs 9,97,802), students can earn about AUD 18,000 in just six months. Those in the two-year masters course can get it fast-tracked to one and half years. The institute also offers scholarships for academically bright students.
Job prospects are bright. “Students get at least two job offers and can earn AUD 36,000-45,000 per annum at the starting level. A manager can easily earn AUD 70,000-80,000,” says Gujral.
The Australian International Hotel School is another institution of the Laureate group. It allows one to graduate with a Swiss Hotel Association diploma in hotel operations. The school follows the traditional Swiss hospitality education model that balances theoretical classes with hands-on learning in service, food and beverage, rooms division and professional internships. Diploma studies are imbedded in the bachelor of business (international hotel management) programme.
The University of Queensland is the only member of the Group of Eight to feature comprehensive programmes in tourism, leisure, and event and hospitality management. Other prominent institutions in Australia include Sydney Hotel School, William Blue College of Hospitality and Tourism, International College of Hotel Management, the TAFE institutions, Canberra Institute of Technology and Le Cordon Bleu.
The US & Canada
It is estimated that there are over a million hotels in the US and more than seven million food service businesses. There are many two-year community colleges that offer associate degrees while the four-year colleges and universities offer bachelors and masters courses. For details see www.hospitalityguild.com/education/USA/community_schools.htm. Associate degrees focus on hands-on learning. The graduates often become chefs and supervisors in hotels and restaurants.
Kendall College in Chicago is a leading institute for culinary arts and hospitality management, offering a Les Roches programme in the latter. (Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, Switzerland, is among the world’s top three hospitality schools.) This allows transfers to and from Switzerland or Spain. Some of the other reputed institutes are Cornell University, Columbia Southern University, George Washington University, Texas Tech University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, California State University and University of Central Florida.
Canada is an attractive destination for Indian students of vocational courses. “A one or two-year postgraduate vocational course helps you get immigration,” says Ganga D. Dondapani, vice-president of Canam, an overseas education counselling agency. Community colleges provide long-term and short-term courses in culinary arts and hospitality management. George Brown College offers two-year diplomas in hotel management, hospitality management, catering, hospitality, tourism and leisure.
The Culinary Institute of Canada at the Tourism and Culinary Center, Holland College, offers several courses in culinary arts, pastry arts, applied degree in culinary operations, and hotel and restaurant management. Here students get an opportunity to learn from award-winning chefs and put their skills into practice during internships.
Other culinary institutes include the Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, St Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology, University of Guelph and Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute.