Tourism Ministry goes guide hunting to top colleges


New Delhi: The Government’s Incredible India campaign has been a big success and now riding high on its good times the Tourism Ministry has decided to get fresh and more refined faces as tour guides. The Earn While You Learn scheme by the Ministry has students from Delhi’s St Stephen’s College and Jawaharlal Lal Nehru University (JNU) under training.

“We thought we needed fresh energy into the tourism industry. And these young people who come with new ideas will bring in that,” ADG of Tourism Ministry, Sanjay Kothari said.

Investing in upmarket colleges for its pilot project is clearly to better the image of the Indian tourism sector. So the Ministry’s first batch of 63 trainees includes students from the Capital’s top colleges and even foreign language students from JNU.

And the scheme is working well with the students also. Navnit Kumar, a foreign language student, said, “There are so many foreigners coming to India who speak different languages, so it’s a great career opportunity for foreign language students.”

While another student Divya Jon, who is from St. Stephens College, said, “This program is very good because in a short course I can get to know a lot about the tourism industry. Also, we get to know the opportunities available in this sector.”

The free of cost 21-day course includes expert talks on subjects like Indian society and culture, history, architecture, archaeology, managerial and behavioural skills, etiquettes, overview of tourism scenario, public speaking and presentation.

Besides Rs 1,000 stipend, the students will also be provided in-house placement with the Ministry’s accredited tour operators who have been asked to pay them at least 800 to 1,000 rupees a day.

Over five million foreign tourists and still counting. It’s the best tourist year in the last one decade that Incredible India has seen. And the Ministry knows that if it wants the magic numbers to keep adding then the induction of new faces is what will give it a real facelift.