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Thomas Cook & IITTM sign MoU to launch two-year PGDM course for tourism industry

Thursday, April 14, 2011, 10:00 Hrs  [IST]
By Maansi Sharma | Mumbai

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Thomas Cook (India) Limited has announced a strategic partnership with the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM). Manjula Chaudhary, Director, IITTM, Nimit Chowdhary, Professor, IITTM, Prasanth Nair, President & Head – HR & Financial Services, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., and Smeeta Gulvandy, Associate VP & Head – Centre of Learning, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Mumbai for the same day before yesterday. Together they have designed a Post Graduate Diploma in Management in International Business, focusing on tourism. It will be a two-year full-time residential course offered at the IITTM campus in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh). The course module will include Business Travel, Medical Tourism, Tourism Service Quality, Intercultural Management and Research for Tourism and International Destination. The teaching methods will be case based learning and exposure to the international business environment. The course will commence from June 13, 2011.

The course will have an Outbound Tour included as part of the practical training. Each student will be given an outbound tour to plan, manage and conduct. An online version of the course is also being designed. In addition, the students will be pulled in for research done exclusively for the Ministry of Tourism, giving them field knowledge for the same. The exposure will be helpful and unique and are reasons Thomas Cook and IITTM believe will set the course apart from those offered by other institutes. The course will also include a four month internship with Thomas Cook. Summer jobs will also be offered to select students.

“We are creating talent for the industry through this course model. There is an obvious imbalance in demand and supply in the tourism industry and we do not have enough skilled manpower. This course will produce students who will receive benefits and training unavailable anywhere else, making them employable at a high level owing to their experience and knowledge,” said Nair.

The tuition fee, including the Outbound Tour, is set at Rs 3.5 lakhs. Graduation is the minimum qualification required to apply for the course and only 93 seats are available per year. The faculty will consist of Thomas Cook's internal staff along with external faculty that will include distinguished personalities and experts from the industry. IITTM's common entrance exam will now include this course as well for admission. Two free scholarships will also be offered every year by IITTM.

Chaudhary added, “This course is a creative way to bridge the gap between practical and formal knowledge. The model is designed to give students practical knowledge that they can bring back to the class. It is a shared belief that leaders in the industry should come up with ways to improve education. This is our first step in that direction. This course will provide what we foresee becoming the minimum benchmark tour operators will be required to have.”

 
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