A three-day 3rd International Conference on Enterprise and Entrepreneurialism from January 28 and 30, supported by the Ministry of Tourism, saw the unique blend of eclectic and high-octane, power packed more than 20 sessions, including three plenary and five technical tracks of discussions, discourses, deliberations and workshops-witnessing newer research insights and the best practices with viable solutions being presented on Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Women as Entrepreneurs, Contemporary Issues, Innovation and Technology, etc. in Tourism and Hospitality.
With the presence of legendary international thought leaders, inclusive of 4 serving or former Vice Chancellors, 20 world-class speakers representing 5 International and 11 national Universities, 2 institutes of higher education run by the Ministry of Tourism, along with Government-run 2 Entrepreneurship Development Institutes, the conference offered the participants a unique opportunity to discuss, deliberate, interact so as to open up to the many facets of Entrepreneurship in Tourism & Hospitality and participate in workshops to learn and hone their skills to publish world-class researches by the Influential editors of highly coveted top-ranking International Journals in the domain of Tourism and Hospitality.
At its culmination, the Chief Guest of the valedictory session, Dr Venu Vasudevan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary of Higher Education and Tourism, Govt of Kerala, congratulated Jamia, on organising a comprehensive, well thought out and extremely relevant international conference.
He posited that there is a great need to encourage community involvement and women participation in entrepreneurial activities for a resilient recovery in the tourism and hospitality sector in the aftermath of the Covid 19 pandemic. He believed that the stakeholders of the industry must have learnt from the conference with its practical and theoretical underpinnings.
He also highlighted the Kerala model of entrepreneurial responsible tourism which emphasises on the triple-bottom line of social, economic and environmental sustainability with the inclusion of the local communities.
Other guests of honour, Prof. Syed Inayat Ali Zaidi, former Dean Faculty of Humanities and Languages, Jamia, outlined the traditional wisdom of the Indian business communities as the bulwark of entrepreneurial zeal in India which weathered many great upheavals since historic times.
On similar veins, Anil K Rajput, Joint Secretary, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India, recounted the successful entrepreneurial models of distant, off the beaten track destinations and the need to replicate these on a wider scale. Over the three days, the conference initiated the much-required public engagement and discourse on the issues of the revival and resilience of entrepreneurship in the wake of Covid-19 and its impacts on tourism and hospitality with the special contributions of women in entrepreneurship.
It refocussed the role of higher education and innovation in the domain to enhance the efficiency of entrepreneurship and to welcome new avenues and opportunities offering solutions to the beleaguered industry and offer direction for its bright future.
The online 3-day conference was well attended by the prominent authorities from the Ministry of Tourism, National Tourism Associations and Academia, making it extremely relevant with their vast experiences to the needs of our ever-changing world. Some of the notable global thought leaders in the domain of entrepreneurship joined to share their insights and disseminate their knowledge in the conference.
The leaders who enriched the participants with their world views and insights included, the world’s most cited tourism research scholar, Professor Colin Michael Hall, from School of Business, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Prof Dimitrios Buhalis, from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, who is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Tourism Review”; Prof. Konstantinos Andriotis, from the Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom, Prof Stephen Pratt, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji, Dr Tracy Harkison, Associate Professor, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, Prof SC Bagri, Former Vice Chancellor, Himgiri Zee University and Former HoD, Centre for Mountain Tourism and Hospitality Studies, HNB Garhwal University, Prof Parikshat Singh Manhas, Director, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Jammu, Prof. Monika Prakash, Nodal Officer, IITTM Nellore, Prof. S.K. Gupta, Head, Centre for Mountain Tourism and Hospitality Studies, HNB Garhwal University; Prof. Mohinder Chand, Deptt of Tourism & Hotel Management, Kurukshetra University, Mr. Priyadarshan Lakhawat, Principal, Institute of Hotel Management, Jaipur, Prof Sampad K Swain, Deptt of Tourism Studies, Pondicherry University, Prof Ashish Dahiya, Director, Centre for Life Skills & Soft Skills, M. D. University, Rohtak, Prof. Ibohal Meitei, Manipur University, Prof Yedla Venkata Rao, Department of Tourism Studies, Pondicherry University, Prof Prashant Gautam, Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management, Punjab University, Prof Sheeba Hamid, Coordinator & Training and Placement Officer, Department of Tourism, Aligarh Muslim University, and Rajshree Bhargava, Asst Prof, UITHM, Chandigarh Univ & State President, Punjab Tourism Rural Tourism Council (WICCI).
From the Entrepreneurship Development Institutes, we had experts in Dr Poonam Sinha and Vishal Ray.
From the Industry it was well represented by Mr. Rajeev Mehra the President of IATO and Hon Secretary of FAITH, Dr Madhu Chandok, President Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (WICCI), Delhi Chapter, Sonia Singh, Co-Founder Nippon Taiyo Hospitality.
This conference was the third in series of International Conferences we had over the last four years. With each Conference we have evolved and added many new dimensions despite the trying conditions we found ourselves in.
As in the previous versions, the theme of this conference was chosen to be relevant not only to the tourism Industry but also to be aligned with the priorities of the nation. It was believed, that the conference should be built upon the participants’ knowledge-sharing, on the identified themes so developed to be the drivers for discussion on Entreprneurialism’s potential role in transforming lives and ecosystems.
The university having one of the most comprehensive tourism and hospitality departments in the South Asia region, took up the pioneering role and responsibilities to align and serve India’s priorities of making it “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” whilst commemorating the 75 glorious years of independent India through the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
This conference was organised amidst unprecedented events like the onset of the third wave of the Pandemic.
In her inaugural address, Vice Chancellor Padma Shri, Prof. Najma Akhtar stressed upon the need for an active collaboration of the industry and the academia.
She emphasised that the University has always striven to bring out the best research and collaborative projects with the practitioners making it an institution at the forefront and aspiring evermore to deliver solutions even at the international level.
Till the culmination of the 3rd International Conference, on the 30th January, the conference saw 20 different sessions from the inaugural, to the plenary, the technical sessions and a workshop. In the technical sessions 35 paper were delivered over five tracks.
The 3-day online conference commenced with the addresses by the Patrons of the conference, Prof. Nazim Husain Al-Jafri, Registrar, Jamia Millia Islamia and Prof. Mohd. Asaduddin, Dean Faculty of Humanities and Languages.
Addressing the delegates, the Conference Chair and Head of Department, Dr Sarah Hussain stated that tourism has been one of the fastest growing sectors in India and the world. The university owing to its close association with tourism companies has been alive to the present conditions. Thus, it is necessary for a highly interactive engagements with the stakeholders.
The Chief Guest, honourable Vice Chancellor of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Prof. SP Bansal, highlighted the paradigm shift that has taken place in the new normal with the new trends of staycations and other practices and he also stressed the need to promote local tourism in the country side to create job opportunities for the local villages.
The Guest of Honour Vinod Zutshi, the former Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, while addressing the gathering, spoke about the draft National Tourism Policy and the great work done by the Government in supporting the entrepreneurs financially and in offering the ease of doing businesses through simplification of registrations of the Tourism entrepreneurs under the MSME portals. Also he highlighted the Govt’s role in making a conducive atmosphere for the support of the new start-ups.
The book of abstracts was released by Conference Organizing Secretary, Dr. Nusrat Yasmeen, Assistant Professor, DTHM, Jamia.
Conference Patron addressed the gathering and talked about the social entrepreneurship. He said that the university understands the importance of harnessing the innovative capabilities and entrepreneurial possibilities.
This was followed by the key note address by Prof Parikshat Singh Manhas, Director, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Faculty of Business Studies, university of Jammu.
Key take aways from his address were the model of successful strategies for the Entrepreneurs with the inclusion of components such as tech savviness, adaptability, flexibility and acquiring of relevant skills amongst others. With this, the new age entrepreneurs shall be able to overcome the vagaries of crises in tourism and hospitality entrepreneurship as the key ingredients.
The Conference Co-Chair Prof. Nimit Chowdhary, DTHM Jamia Millia Islamia concluded the inaugural event with the deep and profuse vote of thanks to all the guests and the participants.
The university having one of the most comprehensive tourism and hospitality departments in the South Asia region, displayed through this conference that it is alive to its pioneering role and responsibilities.
Entrepreneurship in tourism and hospitality contributes towards the fiscal growth of the country. It paves a way to increase employment opportunities for the countrymen and ushers the nation on a growth trajectory that is so much the need of the hour. It provides the service sector to be a part of the demand and supply chain, thereby, assuring economic progress and socio-economic balance in the nation.