Ajay Prakash and Kiran Yadav, Co-founders of IIPT (International Institute for Peace Through Tourism) India, launched the educational initiative in tourism and hospitality, “Educators Network Forum” (ENF), at Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SVIMS) in Wadala, Mumbai on April 28, 2015.
At the event, the IIPT India ENF office, located at the SVIMS campus, was also inaugurated. Mrs. Valsa Nair Singh, Secretary – Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, was the Chief Guest at the event, while Dr Sitikantha Mishra, Chairman, Board of Tourism & Hospitality Studies, AICTE( All India Council for Technical Eduucation), was the Guest of Honour. Also present were a number of luminaries including Prof Sandeep Kulshreshtha – Director IITTM (Indian Institute for Travel Trade Management),, Prof. Sheroo Rangnekar – eminent management expert, Mr. Rajiv Duggal – Senior VP, Tourism, Hospitality & Education, Lavasa Corporation, Airline Managers, Travel Trade Associations’ representatives, Travel Agents, Tour Operators and media.
The IIPTI Educators Network Forum is part of IIPT’s global Consortium of Collaborating Universities which seeks to facilitate student exchange programs and faculty interaction amongst the 22 international universities that currently comprise it. All the Universities offer courses in Travel & Tourism.
Dr. Sitikantha Mishra, in his address, commended the initiative to constitute the Educators Network Forum and called upon IIPT India to give inputs on upgradation and syllabus development at the IITTM.
Prakash, who is also the President of IIPT India, said, “Every tourist is an ambassador of peace. We are looking at conducting student and faculty exchange programme through ENF to sensitise them. The message of peace through tourism needs to be a part of the curriculum.” IIPT will also initiate development and dedication of peace parks, peace towns and peace villages.
Prakash informed that they are looking at organising the IIPT India Peace Awards for Women in September this year to empower women in hospitality and tourism in India. “This will be followed by the first IIPT Peace Awards for empowered women in tourism, titled ‘Celebrating Her’ at ITB Berlin in March in 2016. ITB and UNWTO are expected to partner this initiative.”
Founded by Dr. Louis D’Amore in 1986, IIPT (International Institute for Peace Through Tourism) is a not for profit organization which works closely with the UNWTO and various governments across the world to nurture peace, sustainable tourism, environmental protection and the preservation of indigenous cultures and traditional skills. It is based on a vision of the world’s largest industry – Travel and Tourism – becoming the world’s first global peace industry and the belief that every traveler is potentially an “Ambassador for Peace.”
IIPT India is the Indian Chapter of IIPT and is registered as a non-profit Sec.25 company with the Indian Registrar of Companies.
IIPT India was launched at SATTE in New Delhi on 30 Jan 2015 in the presence of Dr. Lalit Panwar, Secretary Tourism, Govt. of India and Mrs. Valsa Nair Singh, Secretary Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra along with Mr. Dipak Haksar, COO of ITC Hotels & Ms. Rika Jean Francois, CSR Commissioner for ITB Berlin.
In Februaray, IIPT India took a delegation of 14 students to participate in the IIPT Global symposium at Johannesburg which was held to honour and further the legacies of the three greatest Apostles of Peace – Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. Over 230 delgates from 30 countries participated in the 3 day Symposium.
At the ITB Berlin in March, IIPT India organized a session on “Inbound Tourism – Focus on the Women Traveller.” The speakers included Dr. Taleb Rifai – Secretary General of UNWTO, Mr. Suman Billa – Jt. Secy. Tourism, Govt. of India, Mrs. Valsa Nair Singh, Secretary Tourism Govt. of Maharashtra, Ms. Anita Mendiratta , MD Cachet Consulting and Lead Consultant on CNN’s T.A.S.K. and Ajay Prakash – Founding President IIPT India.
Future plans of IIPT India include a national Symposium, the National Awards for Indian women in Tourism & Hospitality, the Global Awards for Empowered & Empowering women at ITB Berlin, International student exchange programs and working closely with AICTE, IITTM and UNWTO.