WTTC hosts Human Resources Symposium in Delhi

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NEW DELHI, India (September 9, 2008) – Following successful discussions in the conference organized in Shanghai in January, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in association with the WTTC Indi

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NEW DELHI, India (September 9, 2008) – Following successful discussions in the conference organized in Shanghai in January, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in association with the WTTC India Initiative, brought together leaders in the field of human resources on September 4, 2008 to discuss employment issues facing India in the coming years.

The Travel & Tourism industry created over 238 million jobs worldwide in 2008 (WTTC figures), making it one of the world’s key industries for employment and career growth. Today, the Travel & Tourism industry is seeking a high number of skilled, quality individuals to fill both managerial and front line customer facing positions.

This is especially true of India whose Travel & Tourism sector is set for substantial growth in the coming years. As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India’s Travel & Tourism industry is set to grow at an average of 7.6% per annum for the next 10 years. This substantial growth creates a massive Human Resources challenge: recruiting and retaining millions of people at exactly the same time as other sectors of the economy. With such a demand for skilled workers, the government and private sector must find innovative ways to attract a new generation of people to the industry.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president of WTTC, and Mrs. Radha Bhatia, chairman of WTTC’s India Initiative, presided over the gathering of public and private sector leaders in the fields of Hospitality and Travel, Technology and Research, Government, Education and Business Consulting. Contributions were made by the director general of the Ministry of Tourism – Government of India, Ernst and Young, Emirates, Oberoi Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Unisys, Six Senses Resorts & Spas, Jet Airways, Taj Hotels, UEI Global and the Indian School of Business.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten stated that, “There needs to be a transformational change in the way that government and businesses promoted employment in the Travel & Tourism industry. The campaign to market employment opportunities has to be as passionate and imaginative as the Incredible India campaign has been in marketing the country on an international scale. The seniority and professionalism of the HR function inside organizations has to be substantially improved, and there needs to be a coherent and long-term campaign to improve the quality of education in the hospitality industry.” Without real leadership from government and businesses, he declared that, “growth in the industry would be compromised, with damaging consequences for job creation and the economic development of the country.”

John Guthrie, who organized both the Shanghai and Delhi events for WTTC, also emphasised the importance of employees having sufficient levels of fluency in the English language. For administrative, supervisory and managerial roles it was essential, as well as for front line positions. With regards to growing numbers of international visitors, basic comprehension of the language gives employees more confidence and more opportunity to progress their careers, developing important life skills and, over time, helping to ensure that managerial roles will be filled by Indian nationals rather than expatriates.

Recommendations from the Symposium were presented to a select group of business leaders, members of the Indian Government, MPs and Senior Civil Servants at the WTTC’s India Initiative Retreat in Khajuraho from September 5-7. Following these discussions, more detailed recommendations will be made to the Government of India later in the month.

Click here for more information about the India Event and to download the speeeches and presentations

Click here for the full India Tourism Satellite Acconting Report 2008.

Contact: Anja Eckervogt, PR Assistant, WTTC on +44 (0) 20 7481 8007 or at [email protected]

About WTTC
WTTC is the forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry. With chairmen and chief executives of some 100 of the world’s leading Travel & Tourism companies as its members, WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to Travel & Tourism. WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world’s largest industries, employing approximately 238 million people and generating nearly 10% of world GDP. Please visit

©2007 World Travel & Tourism Council

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.