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Vivek Pathak: Hotel management programme provides a multidimensional career prospect

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Despite the momentary damage caused by the pandemic, the hospitality industry has not only survived but grown, invested, and evolved. Vivek Pathak, group MD, NIPS Group shares how a graduate degree in hotel management gives ample job opportunities to truly multidimensional career prospect on a global platform

“Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, Sanskrit phrase, which means the whole world, is but a family. Today, it turns out to be truer than ever before. We realise how deeply each one of us is connected with everybody else. With hundreds of millions of people now isolating themselves around the world, the novel coronavirus pandemic has become a truly global event. Infectious disease is a salutary reminder of our interconnectedness. It might help us to recover a sense of society. It will make us realise that national boundaries are artificial
The outbreak of novel coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation around the world. Humankind is no stranger to catastrophic outbreaks of diseases. However, this is the first viral outbreak of this nature and scale in our lifetime.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, several countries across the world resorted to lockdowns to “flatten the curve” of the infection. These lockdowns meant confining millions of citizens to their homes, shutting down businesses and ceasing almost all economic activity. Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and international trade. With nearly all countries closing national borders during the past month, the movements of people and tourism flows have come to a screeching halt. The pandemic has pushed the global economy into a recession, which means the economy starts shrinking and growth stops.

The cascading effect of the coronavirus has crippled the world tourism and hospitality industry at present. To limit the spread of the coronavirus disease, a total of 217 countries and territories worldwide have imposed travel restrictions, according to a report by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation.

“Never before in history has international travel been restricted in such an extreme manner,” the report by UNWTO read.

Few industries have been as hard hit as the hospitality sector, which experienced mass layoffs and furloughs across the globe.

Though India’s hospitality industry is sailing deep into uncharted waters however it is reimagining hospitality to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. No hotel or any business for that matter can stay alive without revenue.
Our hospitality industry along with the healthcare industry has shown great alacrity and competence in meeting the extraordinary and evolving challenge. We’re also seeing collaboration like never before from both communities.

The hotels are being transformed into a medical facility to treat patients with mild cases of coronavirus. Isolation wards are coming up in hotels as safe houses to isolate those who may have been in contact with confirmed cases. Converting excess hotel capacity into lodging for those in need like healthcare & hospital workers who are exposed to patients daily and need a safe place to sleep close to their work. The hotels are replenishing the shortage in the number of beds and staff that hospitals are facing. In India’s fight against the deadly Covid-19 infection, hotels, and resorts are coming in handy.

Those in the hospitality industry, who haven’t handled any situation like this before, had already been working round the clock to try and serve the quarantined patients, as part of the Vande Bharat Mission that involves international and domestic evacuation of Indians across the globe and their consequent quarantine in some city hotels.

We know about the doctors, nurses, health workers & police and who are putting themselves beyond the call of duty. Likewise, hotel staff playing the role of nurses for guests who need to be in quarantine or are asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19. Unlike health workers, they are not trained for this specific job. However, they did not backslide, instead, they gave their heart & soul to a new role with all smiles expressing through their eyes.

There is no doubt that we are still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and that the effects of the virus are likely to be felt for a long time yet. Prevailing current situation Coronavirus dashes job hopes for hospitality grads, but on the contrary, it is an opportunity. There are past instances where travel & tourism & hospitality industry has survived epidemics. The aftermath of 9/11 in 2001, SARS virus in 2003, a recent Zika virus which restricted travel ban on 60 countries did not deter the travel industry and limit the zeal of people dedicated to creating exceptional travel & stay experience for guests. Despite the momentary damage, we can witness exceptional cases wherein the industry has not only survived but grown, invested, and evolved despite the adversities.

Before pandemic hospitality was one of the most promising fields to pursue. The “single largest employer, supporting one in every 11 jobs worldwide”, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, and seen as a “catalyst for economic development and job creation” (Ernst & Young – Global Hospitality Industry Insights report for 2016), the hospitality industry is recognised in the world over as a booming sector. Graduating students would land with multiple job offers.

The reality is that the epidemic is short-term and will surely pass. Not bowing down to the challenges. A player would focus on the journey that awaits. What is important is to plan and prepare, take necessary steps for the future now.

The world is uniting against a common enemy and we’re collaborating as a species like never before. There are strenuous competitive and cooperative efforts afoot to develop a vaccine. The pandemic may be over sooner than we anticipate.

Despite a rising number of Covid-19 cases, the good news is that governments across the world have begun working towards easing border restrictions to kick-start international travel in hopes of reviving the coronavirus-hit tourism industry. Many countries are partnering to form exclusive travel ‘bubbles’ or ‘corridors’ in order to strategically reopen borders for tourists amidst the pandemic. Countries like the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Estonia, and Lithuania have all lifted restrictions for international travellers visiting from a few select nations.

The hospitality industry cannot breathe without the human touch. The hospitality industry is a service-oriented industry where guest experience and satisfaction are non-compromisable. Hospitality will remain an art in itself. There were always good projects and jobs in hospitality industry.

Employment opportunities in the hospitality sector range from chef, F&B, housekeeping department, front office, bakery, guest relation, and also in airlines cabin crew, airport ground staff jobs, cruise lines, luxury trains, amusement parks, event planner, wedding coordinator, retail sector, banks, armed forces, travel & tour operator, multiplex, F&B entrepreneur, etc. A graduate degree in hotel management gives ample job opportunities to truly multidimensional career prospects on a global platform. In the current pandemic situation also hospitality studies will remain top career choice. The study of the hospitality industry makes you truly ‘Atmanirbhar’.

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