Avenues in Tourism Sector

Devika Nanda
Tourism is a buzz word in the economies of both developed and developing nations. It chips in to the growth and development of the native lands where it is being practiced. Its vitality can be observed from the stastical data of 2011: Direct contribution to GDP and employment generation was US $2 trillion and 98 million respectively across the world. While talking about the indirect contribution in the same year it accounted for US $6.3 trillion GDP and 255 million jobs globally. This depicts the festering importance of tourism for any nation but the fact is that many parts of the world are still ignorant about the multifariousness of the field of tourism and they consider it only as a leisure activity. In reality Tourism is like an umbrella which encompasses the following flourishing fields:
Tourism is a vast field of study that encapsulates the concepts of anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, archaeology, ethnography, geography , accounting, economics, marketing, leisure, management and various other disciplines. It is the systematic study of the methods used in tourism industry. It teaches how to deal with people , their psyche and other important events taking place in the domain of tourism. It keeps people updated regarding the latest trends taking place in the travel and tourism and provides them with the knack to deal with cross cultural problems reducing the world into one global village. It enhances our knowledge regarding the existing and virgin tourist destinations. This know-how can equip the research scholars to come up with novel topics, notions, ideas and explore them with the tools of this discipline which can ultimately lead to new studies and add to the existing literature essential for thriving the tourism industry.Many private and public tourism organizations have created a new job position for tourism research scholars where dextrous and competent researchers can make their mark and add colours to travel.
Tourism industry is the only industry which has a shoe for every foot. It has immense scope for those who believe in ‘ Being your own boss'(YOB) approach. It is commonly observed that those who are creative, innovative, responsible and have the ability to influence others have an inherent dislike to work under or for others. But due to lack of resources they are bound to work for the success of other people. Tourism is the field that one can opt for san entrepreneurial career with full investment of his caliber and less monetary inputs. It allows one to work and make profits even with virtual offices. Initially, the only machine that a modern day tour entrepreneur requires is a computer and a space of few feets. So in order to be an effective entrepreneur in tourism one needs the competency to sense the opportunity and exploit it with the right attitude.
Tourism also provides the job ‘Just obey your boss’ option for those who prefer an easy life, have poor risk taking capacity, lack initiative and prefer to be directed. In the present era, many national and multinational companies like KUONI, SITA, TUI, COX & KINGS, SOTC etc are dealing in tourism and they have vast job opportunities for the tour professionals. Most of the job vacancies are solicited and can be easily spotted in employment portals. Handsome salaries , job security and good prospects of growth are being offered as per the ability of the individuals.
Tourism has the potential to earn huge foreign currency and add to the strength of our economy. In 2011 ,India witnessed 6290319 foreign tourist arrivals and earned 77591 crores of foreign exchange which is self-convincing regarding the richness of tourism.
Thus, we can conclude that tourism is a multi -dimensional and a multi- sectoral activity which can go a long way in eradicating unemployment and earning huge profits. For this the need is to realize the importance of tourism and introduce it as a discipline and a field of study both at the school and college level. Various diploma and degree courses can prove handy in spreading the awareness regarding the blossoming avenues of the tourism.
(The author is a School of Hospitality and Tourism Management,University of Jammu)


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