International Symposium 2018 held at WGSHA

Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA), Manipal Academy of Higher Education had organized a day-long International Hospitality Symposium on 24th February, 2018 held at Fortune Inn Valley View, Manipal with the objective of bringing together the Industry and Academia to explore the changing paradigms and innovative practices within the broader hospitality and tourism realm. The symposium was themed on “Transformation trends in Hospitality and Tourism: Connecting stakeholders to deliver memorable experiences”.

February 26, 2018

Prof. Parvadhavardhini Gopalakrishnan, Principal, WGSHA welcomed the gathering and emphasized the need of the symposium, and familiarized the audience with the futuristic technological concepts like virtual reality, space travel and teleportation and their impact on hospitality Industry.

The Keynote speaker for the event Mr. Gyan Bhushan, Economic Adviser, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India & Chief Executive Officer, National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology shared his views on the issues and challenges faced by HR in the industry, including skill levels, manpower requirements and communication. He highlighted on various initiatives taken up by the Ministry of Tourism such as 24x7 toll free multilingual language information helpline, issuing E-visa to international tourists, E-ticketing at monuments, Swachh Paryatan and so on.

Chef Alexander Lee Sanchez from California, former Executive Chef of The Table, Mumbai gave us a glimpse into his own journey of becoming chef, after initially being petrified of the idea of trying new food. He later gave insights on entrepreneurship and the various challenges that come with it. “Struggle, dedication, patience and perseverance” are the prerequisites for becoming a chef, as stressed by Alexander.

Mrs. Monica Suri, General Manager of Marriott Jaipur engaged the students by using various hash tags like ‘#bae’, ‘#yolo’, ‘#mirl’ as a pretext to all key points of her presentation and emphasized on how an individual can use these terminologies in terms of hospitality & tourism.

Mr. Ramesh Takulia, Learning and Development Consultant, Taj Hotels, Delhi highlighted the significance of Service Quality Model in the Hospitality Industry. He spoke about the various gaps in service quality, how these gaps can be bridged, and the significance of customer perception.

Mr. Vineet Mishra, General Manager, JW Marriott, Pune gave an insight on the concept of “Service Recovery” and how it is carried out, with examples from his own experience. He mentioned that if service recovery is done well, we can not only make a guest happier but can also make them permanent & loyal friends. He further stated how ‘every problem is unique’ and must be addressed with care.

Mr. N Krishnan, Ex-General Manager, ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad highlighted the trends of “Millennials in Tourism” and how “Gen Y” are the future of this industry. He advised as how today’s hotel needs to take a step forward to cater to the needs of this generation, by redesigning their infrastructure and inculcating innovation along with tech forward amenities.

The Symposium concluded with the panel discussion. Chef Thiru, Vice Principal delivered the vote of thanks, which was followed by cultural extravaganza by the students of first year Culinary Arts to conclude the day’s proceedings.