Lack of skilled manpower dwindling tourism in Kashmir
By: Saraf Ali
Tourism is generally and globally known as one of the few economic sectors that has more than enough growth prospects and is characterised as a ray of hope for peace and prosperity.
At the same time, this sector is known for its high turnover of staff, persistent lack of qualified personnel and rapidly changing skill needs.
Jammu and Kashmir is one of the known tourist destinations in Asia and popular in the world. It’s the Northern most State (now a Union Territory) of India. Geographically it has three different regions within the State i.e. Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The delighting backwaters, hill stations and landscape make Kashmir a beautiful tourist destination. Thus, Tourism is one of the main sources of economy of the State. Among all industries, tourism is an important industry in the State.
Tourism is still a very specific sector, so specific knowledge about the sector is required. For the workforce, however, there are still general and basic skill needs for everybody. For example, lack of knowledge of foreign languages has been recently recognised as a factor stopping tourism being considered as an economic wave for J & K state because development in training the personals is very limited here.
“Being a business student i believe in a concept which says the ‘retention of customers that yet again comes through education’ , some of the agents/operators still does it without knowing these business ethics”, says Mir Ayaz / Business head, Lalwani Tour and Travels, talking to Valley Online.
“I remember how some personals from Tourism industry used to sell five/four star package which are supposed to be in budged category, how they used to talk with the clients in a very informal way , this eventually doesn’t ruin only their good will but affects the industry in whole”, he added.
Absence of some tourism policies is the reason we lack many facilities over here, we are not able to provide proper accommodations to our tourists as per their needs. We lack trained manpower in tourism field. Most of people working in tourism have no formal education in tourism, its because we are not providing the basic information about tourism sector to our youth. This field is not being appreciated like it should be.
When we study tourism professionally, we come to know about various tourism spots and their physical, economic, social and cultural beauty of that particular spot. With this subject every next day is going to be different. We get to read about different people from different countries.
If all our institutions will get into this, then we can travel the whole world with no limitations and can gain more knowledge about different cultures different people, etc; making tourism sector an incredible economic value for the people of that country.
The tourism industry has a really deep scope and skill management roles. It includes adventure trips, visiting picnic spots, etc. Career in tourism can be adventurous and creative as well. For example, joblessness professionals can be a source of generating jobs very easily and can start up their own business as well. Jobs in tourism are all about providing friendly, efficient and attentive customer service. We will need good communication skills, the ability to work well with people and enjoy a challenge. This is the reason that one of the top most growing industry in West is the Tourism industry.
“Tourism should be included as an important subject in higher schools and colleges. Tourism teaches learner’s about what a tourist is, why people travel, and how they contribute to the greater tourism movement. Once learners understand this, the rest falls into place like the pieces of a puzzle”, talking to Valley Online, Saiqa Ashraf, A master’s student of Travel and Tourism, said.
“There should be some seminars held related to tourism sector in every institution, like we do for other fields. We all are very well aware about the fact that tourism sector is not being appreciated in the way like it should be. Non qualified staff is being put forward to handle such sector. That’s why we see many degree holders doing other job rather than getting into this particular sector,” she added.
Therefore, skilled manpower in every field, whether it’s a sector of tourism or any other, is needed. An industry can’t be handled properly when it lacks skilled manpower and educated personals to deal with what befalls them.
So, If tourism and its resources are properly managed and properly appreciated, well learned, it has the potential to change the destiny of people and any given country.