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Hospitality employees have to enhance and upgrade their skillsets, say industry experts

Thursday, April 15, 2021, 18:00 Hrs  [IST]
Asmita Mukherjee | Hyderabad

Sommet Education in collaboration with UNWTO recently hosted a “Hospitality Education in the Post Covid World” themed virtual webinar, in the presence of eminent industry leaders from across the globe.

The panel comprised of Suman Billa, Director of the UNWTO Department for Technical Cooperation and its Silk Road Development project, Adrian Artimov, Regional Director South Asia, Sommet Education, and Mandeep Lamba, HVS President of South Asia.

Speaking about the changing consumer preferences, Billa informed that tourism after the pandemic will become more environmentally friendly and responsible, as consumers are now preferring sustainable tourism. Billa also added that the governments of most countries are now channelling consumer preferences into their policies.

Commenting on the growth in occupancies, Lamba said, “The sector is seriously impacted. Second wave has dampened the optimism. We will probably see rebuilding of the occupancy levels in the second half of this year, and by the middle of the next year, we will see the occupancy levels as it used to be pre-COVID.”

While commenting on the future of hospitality, Billa said, “Hospitality employees have to enhance and upgrade their skillsets.”  

Speaking on the changing hospitality education landscape, Lamba said, “Typically global hospitality industry is going through a change. We are seeing more adoption of technologies. Post-covid there would be some learning, opulence will come down, and we will manage more with less. We will now be managing our hotels with fewer people. Hospitality education needs to adapt to these changes. The future hospitality professionals have to have more experience in industry connects, focused internships.”

Putting forward his views, Artimov said, “Being a hospitality management school, we are delivering good content, and we never stopped investing in high quality programmes and technology. We also invested in facilities maintaining every protocol, and following local Govt guidelines.”
Speaking on their Covid fueled, focus shift to technology, he said, “We will very much focus on technology and online learning. Online education is here to stay, and also developing is the new trend. We will accelerate product development on new age technologies. We have to adapt and rebuild new technologies. If we don’t invest and innovate, we will suffer in the time of crisis.

Commenting that hospitality students can also excel in any customer facing job, he said, “It’s not only about hotels and restaurants, hospitality students excel in finance and other sectors also.”

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