Tourism Students Festival (TSF’20) kicked off with much fanfare and presence marked by eminent dignitaries from across Hospitality & Tourism industry. The 2-day event of 16th& 17th October saw lot enthusiasm by students for whom the learning sessions were conducted.
On 16th of October 2020, theopening session sawthe inaugural address by Shri Prahlad Singh Patel the Hon’ble Minister for Tourism and Culture, Government of India. The opening session also saw other dignitaries like Mr Vinod Zutshi, IAS (Retd), Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, and President New Tourism Foundation and Chairman, TSF’20, Shri Gaj Singh ji, President, Indian Heritage Hotels Association; Mr G Kamala Vardhan Rao, IAS, Chairman and MD, ITDC; Ms Jyoti Mayal, Co-chair, TSF 20; Mr Prateek Hira, Co-chair, TSF 20;Mr. Rakesh Mathur, President, Responsible Tourism Society of India and Mr Sanjay Soni, Vice Chairman, TSF 20, New Tourism Foundation; among others.
In his address Shri Prahlad Singh Patel jicongratulated New Tourism Foundation and TSF’20 team for putting together event of such high magnitude, he also said“Though the times are tough and Tourism industry is impacted we need to collectively work towards getting solution for the same. He quoted his friend and said we need to prepare for the future because future is what we will be living in. He also called out to people who travel from India to explore foreign lands, we have enough of bio-diversity within our own country to explore”. He further said “If we travel within our country, we can build a strong tourism ecosystem and generate huge revenues for the country”.
The 2-day event had many interesting session like “Dekho Apna Desh for Atmanirbhar Tourism”, “Responsible Tourism”, “New National Tourism Policy”, “Skilling for new normal”, “Tourism Entrepreneurship”, “Adventure Tourism”, “Destination planning and marketing”, “Wellness and Spiritual Tourism” among other 21 sessions that happened alongside fireside chat with academicians, Government officials, students and policy makers. The 2-day session saw participation by approximately 120+ speakers and 2000+ Students participating throughout the day. The Open mic and live music jig performed by many known and upcoming artists was very well received by the students.
Mr Vinod Zutshi, IAS (Retd), Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, and President New Tourism Foundation and Chairman, TSF’20said “What started as a small idea went on to become an event of this magnitude. Our objective of setting up TSF’20 was to give students who are the future of the tourism industry a platform to connect with Government, Policy makers and academicians. Skilling and re-learning and using technology to the maximum potential should be the focus of the future”.
The event has been organized by the New Tourism Foundation
, a non-profit registered body with the aim of achieving the larger goal of bringing industry, academia and students of tourism into the mainstream for accelerating growth of tourism in the country.
The common messaging through the session of day by the eminent speakerswas the need for skilling, using technology to better tourism facilities, learning – unlearning – relearning and the students were urged to think out of the box and thinkinnovatively to build the Tourism industry. A country as huge as ours which has history of more than 5000 years needs to get the right ambassadors to promote it and spread the message within the country and outside the country to attract foreign tourists too.
Some very interesting insights were shared by Shri Suman Billa, IAS, Director UNWTO“Crisis brings opportunities and this is the time where we have the opportunity to build the industry. Our country has been the one with majority of them being job seekers.” He urged the students to look beyond the mentality of being job seeker and look at becoming job creators. “Become entrepreneurs, so you are not dependent on anyone and you can help build the ecosystem in a new way”
Tourism Students Festival has been given ‘Incredible India’ Logo Support by Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India. The event is supported by TAAI, ITDC, OTOAI, ADTOI, ATOAI, RTSOI, Public Relations Society of India and URJA as ‘Thought Partners’. Galgotia University, Ashok Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University are the Supporting Institutions and Le Meridien, Pride Hotels and 5th Element Hospitality are the F & B Partners of TSF’20.